Cochlear Implants and Hearing Aids – Which One Do You Need?
The most common type of hearing loss can be treated with cochlear implants and hearing aids, both medical devices for the treatment of sensorineural loss. While both methods are used successfully, hearing aids to handle hearing loss are far more common than cochlear implants. Hearing aids are used to treat various levels of hearing loss successfully, from mild to severe. Most people with hearing loss are candidates for hearing aids that work by amplifying sound frequencies that suffer from hearing loss and can benefit from those.
Cochlear implants are used if the hearing loss is not resolved by hearing aids to treat severe sensor-neural hearing loss because of the lack of or decreased functioning of cochlear hair cells. Surgically implanted, they are used to replace the damaged cochlea (in the inner ear) function and to stimulate the auditory nerve directly.
How Does a Cochlear Implant Work?
A cochlear implant has inner and outer parts. The best cochlear implant surgeon implants the inner parts— electrodes and the receiver-stimulator. The doctor places the electrode array in the cochlea and bypasses the damaged hair cells and implants the recipient-stimulator directly behind the ear.
The outside section consists of a microphone, transmitter, and processor, similar to a hearing aid. The microphone collects sounds from the environment which go to the processor. The transmitter receives signals from the processor that are transmitted to a surgically implanted electrode array into electrical impulses. The array stimulates the auditory nerve and sends impulses to the brain where sounds are interpreted.
Who Can Wear It?
Cochlear implants are an option for people with hearing aids or amplifiers that are no longer offering enough hearing support. Cochlear implants can be used in both children and adults. Some people have a profound hearing loss, which means that the small hair cells in the inner ear in part called the cochlea are damaged.
Cochlear implants are eligible for children as young as a year old, born deaf or with serious auditory loss. Children with cochlear implants almost as quickly develop the language skill in a classroom and beyond as children with normal hearing. Adults can also benefit from cochlear implants that help many people with time. Cochlear implants have been given to over 324.000 people!
Hearing Aid – What Is It?
Hearing aids work by picking up the sound, makes it loud and sends it through the canal of your ear to the inner part of ear especially to the hearing nerves.
Who Can Wear It?
Hearing aids are of major help for those suffering from mild to moderate hearing loss, as a result of which:
Sensory cell damage in normal aging
Loud noise exposure
genetic (including a family member) factors
How Does This Device Work?
Sounds are made louder by hearing aids. Many types and styles of hearing aids can be chosen, but all have similar components:
A miniature battery powering the hearing aid
A microphone capturing the sounds
An amplifier louder
A speaker sends the amplified sound into the outer ear
A digital device can be used by some hearing aids to cancel feedback or change sound to make it sound better. You can have a hearing aid tailored to:
Your hearing loss level
Sonic conditions like the classroom, a restaurant, and music listening.
For a cochlear implant, you can contact our cochlear implant surgeons for the best results. At OKHC we can suggest either hearing aids or a coclear implant according to your physical condition and goals.
**Disclaimer: The content above does not create a healthcare provider-patient relationship nor intends to offer medical advice.