A cochlear implant is one of the best electronic medical devices in the modern world. A cochlear implantation is a surgical implantation done on a person who is deaf. This device provides a sense of hearing. It does not amplify the sound like normal hearing aids. It stimulates the specialized nerve cells in the hearing sense organ (cochlea). It has many advantages and is currently more useful than your average hearing aid.
How can Cochlear implants help?
One may get to hear speech at a normal level. In adults, the result is immediate while in children the rate at which they improve is very slow. In adults, there is a rapid improvement for about three months after which the improvement is slow. Most people can perceive a wide range of sounds varying from soft, medium to loud like the slamming of a door, the barking of dogs, and the ringing telephone. Makes a person more secure and self-reliant. It is very important for a person to be able to hear in case of critical conditions like the fire alarm. Cochlear implanthelps with these. One can actually hear auditory voices, even though they are robotic. A person with cochlear implant does not need to lip read.Children can think about studying in mainstream schools instead of studying in a specialized school for deaf people.
Now we will discuss some details about the drawbacks. And, it is not a foolproof method and doesn't guarantee that hearing a person may lose the residue hearing that they have. There are several drawbacks to a cochlear implant.
Let us discuss some down below:
A surgical process involves a lot of money and it has a lot of ordeals associated with it. Therefore, before getting a cochlear implant done ask your specialist to elaborate if it will be of any help to your condition. The cost of maintenance is also very high. It will be difficult for people who are not inborn deaf to cope up with hearing conditions as the sounds are distorted and background noises interfere with the process of hearing. Irritation of your skin, muscle spasms, and even facial paralysis are some of the side effects of this implant. But these are rare conditions. Sounds are translated by the device first and may sound unnatural. It takes time and proper training before a person can be at ease with this condition.
Hearing has a deep impact on your life. It determines the kind of life you are going to lead. It has been found by various studies and surveys that hearing aids drastically improve the quality of life you lead. It is the much-needed relief to a life, burdened by the stress and strains of living with hearing impairment. The hearing aids are not just instruments. This is a way to live a life of dignity. According to the Evaluation of the Social and Economic Costs of Hearing Impairment report, hearing loss leads to socio and economic stress in ones’ life in major continents like Europe, Australia and the United States.
A research conducted by the National Council on Aging found that over 2,000 people living with hearing impairment or loss experienced positive changes in their respective lives after using hearing aids. They experienced improvements in social, emotional, psychological and physical spheres of life. Furthermore, a US study claims that nine in ten people using hearing aid say that their life has changed for the better after using the aids. It can also be said that hearing aid users lead a better life than non-users of these aids.
How these aids better your life?
Hearing aids gift you a life of expressions and dignity. They can connect you to the rest of the world and empower you to maintain your individualism. You are empowered to make your point in front of others and understand their perspectives too. Here’s what a hearing aid can do for you:
Users of hearing aids have a better life as they have improved cognitive functioning. The family members claim that the users of these aids become more interactive. They are lesser of an introvert than the non-users.
Hearing aids may be the solution to hearing loss. While they may not completely restore your hearing, they will improve it to a great extent. Many people are unwilling to use hearing aids because of the stigma and the fear of being shamed. But, with newer and smaller devices hitting the market, these fears can be put to rest. Not only are these hearing aids sleek and small but also equipped to meet your unique requirements.
But these devices are only effective if they have been programmed.
What is meant by Programming of Hearing Aids?
The hearing aid is a digital device with lots of delicate and minute parts that correspond to a plethora of features. When you buy the hearing aid, it is deactivated. So it needs to be switched on, just like a stringed musical instrument. But this is something you cannot do on your own. So you need to take it to your audiologist.
Audiologists are trained to deal with hearing aids. Audiologists connect the hearing aid to a computer. You will have to plug in your ear aids and the audiologist will start tweaking and asking you questions on whether the device is amplifying sound. Based on feedback from you, the device will be programmed.
Can You Program Them on your own?
The new state-of-the-art devices hearing aids are very user-friendly and come with extensive manuals that guide you on how to program the device. This idea is actually very appealing to many people because it gives them greater control over their device and saves the trouble of visiting an audiologist.
What is Reprogramming of Hearing Aids?
Sometimes, people feel that the noise entering their ears when they wear their programmed devices is overwhelmingly loud. But, that may be because they are not accustomed to hearing sounds with clarity. Soon they acclimate to the new arrangement. But in certain cases, the loud noises refuse to subside. Moreover, the aid may also emit sounds. It is then, a reprogramming is required.
You will need to visit the audiologist again who will administer a few tests to rule out the possibility that there are new issues with your ear. Then the audiologist will change the settings to eradicate the problems you were complaining of.
Hearing aids when programmed will help ease you back to a normal lifestyle.
Traditionally, people resort to hearing aids in order to take care of their auditory problems. The perception of hearing reduces as age progresses and people find it absolutely necessary to come up with ways by which they can improve their hearing. However, cochlear implants have become extremely popular because of the method that it uses in comparison to the traditional methods of hearing aids.
What is a cochlear implant?
A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants bypass the damaged hair cells of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain.
Who can they help?
The cochlear implant technology can help people who:
Many people have cochlear devices in both ears (bilateral). Listening with two ears can improve your ability to identify the direction of the sound and separate the sounds you want to hear from those you don’t.
What are the benefits of a cochlear implant?
Many adults with cochlear implants report that they:
How is a cochlear implant different from a hearing aid?
A cochlear implant is very different from a hearing aid and is appropriate for individuals for whom hearing aids fail to provide benefit. A hearing aid makes sounds louder. Sound still travels through all the portions of the ear (outer ear, middle ear, inner ear) to the hearing nerve. A cochlear implant bypasses these structures and directly stimulates the hearing nerve with electrical energy. Because hearing aids amplify sounds and rely on the hearing system to convey the message, people with severe to profound hearing loss may be able to hear, but not understand speech well. The main objective of a cochlear implant is to improve speech understanding in quiet. Clarity with a cochlear implant is usually better than a hearing aid because the implant does not make sounds louder but delivers them to the hearing nerve.
There are a number of symptoms, which people should be looking out for before concluding that they have a hearing disorder:
With age, many of the organs in the human body start malfunctioning. Your ear is no different. Loss of hearing is a common complaint amongst many elderly people. In fact, it is among the most common disorders in the elderly affecting around one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 years.
Many elderly people do not acknowledge the loss of hearing due to embarrassment or social stigma. However, it is a serious issue, which needs to be treated just like other disorders in the body.
What to do if you suffer from hearing loss?
The first and foremost thing is to admit to yourself that you suffer from hearing loss. Next, you need to seek the help of a medical professional. He/she can help you better understand the long-term solutions and treatment options available for degenerative hearing loss. An ENT (Ear-Nose-Throat) specialist is the best doctor to help you in this regard.
Causes for age-related hearing loss:
Loss of hearing with age is known as presbycusis in medical parlance. Doctors and medical experts do not know the exact cause for such hearing loss. However, they suspect the following causes:
• A family history of hearing loss can make you more susceptible to hearing loss as you age.
• Prolonged exposure to loud noises is also thought to be responsible for age-related hearing loss.
• Viral and bacterial infections
• Cardiac issues or strokes
• Head injuries
• As a side effect of certain drugs
How do hearing aids help against hearing loss in the elderly?
Hearing aids are special electronic devices that help make sounds louder and more pronounced. Even though things and people sound different when heard through a hearing aid, your doctor will help you get used to the device. Here are some benefits of wearing such aids:
1. Reduce tinnitus - Tinnitus is the strange buzzing or ringing sound that you hear even though no sound is produced externally. Over prolonged periods tinnitus can affect the mood and disposition of a person. An elderly person with hearing loss often also suffers from tinnitus. However, wearing a hearing aid can significantly reduce episodes of tinnitus.
2. Boost social relationships- Hearing loss can be a great obstacle in the way of communication with family and friends. With hearing aids, you can once again converse with people and get your point across to them. Therefore, hearing aids help you avoid social isolation and in a way uplift your mood.
3. Reduce risk of cognitive disorders - Hearing loss in the elderly is closely associated with other cognitive disorders. In fact, people who suffer from loss of hearing at an old age are 41% more likely to develop other cognitive conditions. A hearing aid can reduce this risk immensely.
Therefore, stop neglecting hearing loss today. Seek proper treatment and care to avoid further complications from this disorder.
Cochlear Implant is an electronic device replaced with the inner ear (cochlea) of the patients who are unable to send sound waves to the brain.
The surgery is performed on the patients who have the problem of hearing loss due to the damaged hair cells in the inner ears. The implant helps the patient to hear which are not responding to other hearing aids.
Conditions for Cochlear Implant:
Cochlear implants help people to hear with clarity. They are not like hearing aids, which make the sound louder, but it helps send sound waves to the brain and replaces the damaged hair cells in the inner ear. Following are cases where it is beneficial:
People who find it difficult to hear clearly with hearing aids.
Those with moderate hearing loss in both ears.
Patients with 50% or fewer score in the sentence recognition test.
Patients with 60% or less score in sentence recognition test with hearing aids on.
It is suggested to opt for cochlear implants in both ears. The reason is to give the patient a better perspective of sound direction and clarity in understanding the words.
How does the Cochlear Implant work?
Cochlear Implant is an electronic device with an embedded sound processor that has to be worn outside ears or on the body. Following steps are involved in cochlear implant:
The sound captured by the processor is converted digitally by the processor and sent to the coil inside the ears of the patient.
The implant converts digitally coded sound waves to electrical impulses.
The electric impulse simulates the hearing nerve of the patient.
Then sends these impulses to the brain.
Benefits of Cochlear Implants:
The cochlear implant is a blessing for people who have been suffering from hearing loss for a very long time. It provides aid to people who have not benefited from hearing devices. The benefits of the cochlear implant are:
Studies have shown that people with cochlear implants have better sentence recognition scores instead of hearing aids.
The patient can concentrate better in the crowd and can hear conversations across the table.
Reconnect with the missed sounds.
Enjoy music on the phone.
Cochlear Implant improves the quality of life of people with hearing loss. It gives them an aid to understand and engage themselves in a conversation. However, it takes time to learn the interpretation of the sound signals that are received from cochlear implants. But, the patient can learn and lead a normal life with the implant. The factors which affect the benefits of Cochlear implants are:
The extent of hearing loss
The duration of the hearing loss and the condition before implantation
Damage to inner hair cells
Other health issues
The practice and rehabilitation time have been done in practice after implantation
The cochlear implant is performed in the patients after taking extensive tests determining the condition of the patients. It is activated after 2-6 weeks of surgery to give the surgery site a time to heal. Most people are discharged from the hospital after surgery and are prepared for the use of an implant. There are training sessions and classes for patients who have just gone for cochlear implants.
Cochlear implant is a medical device that provides direct electrical stimulation to the hearing nerve in the inner ear. Children and adults with a severe hearing lossmay be helped with cochlear implants. A cochlear implant is a prosthetic substitute directly stimulating the cochlea and it does not cure deafness or hearing impairment.
A cochlear implant completely by-passes the normal hearing mechanism and stimulates the auditory nerve directly by means of an internally implanted electrode assembly. The implant consists of an external portion that located behind the ear and an interior portion which is surgically implanted under the skin. An implant has a microphone, a speech processor, a transmitter and an electrode array. The sound from the environment is picked by microphone and transmitter and receiver/stimulator sends them to speech processor to convert them into electric impulses.
The speech processor placed with the microphone behind the ear, or it is a small box-like unit worn in a chest pocket. The speech processor digitizes the sound signals and sends them to a transmitter just behind the ear. The electrode array collects the impulses from the stimulator and sends those to different regions of the auditory nerve. The electrodes stimulate the fibers of the auditory nerve, and sound sensations are perceived.
A cochlear implant is very different from a hearing aid. Hearing aids amplify sounds so that they can be detected by damaged ears. Cochlear implants bypass damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. Hearing via a cochlear implant is different from normal hearing and takes time to adjust. However, it enables many people to understand other sounds in the environment, recognize warning signals, , and understand speech in person or over the telephone.
The benefits from a cochlear implant depend on many factors, such as the age of the patient when he or she receives the implant, the hearing loss present pre or post patient developed language skills and finally the motivation of the patient and family support
Once a person is referred for cochlear implant, more testing is done which includes audio logic testing, psychological testing, medical examination, and tests performed by the surgeon. It is done to ensure that the candidate will benefit from a cochlear implant and will have the motivation to participate in the process. Once the decision is made to go ahead, the surgery is done. Sometimes it involves an overnight stay in the clinic, and sometimes it is done on an outpatient basis. Six weeks post-surgery, patient is fitted with the external microphone and speech processor and implant is activated and programmed.
The best candidates are those having severe hearing loss in both ears, limited benefit from hearing aids, medical condition that makes surgery risky. Children can be considered for cochlear implants if they have the similar conditions as adults and in addition have support from their educational institutions to development of auditory skills.
Hearing aid is a small electronic device that you wear in or behind your ear.It makes sound louder so that a person with hearing loss can listen, communicate and participant more fully in daily activities.
A hearing aid can help people hear more in both quiet and noisy situation.
A Hearing aid has three basic parts: a microphone, amplifier, and receiver. The hearing aid receives sound through a microphone, which converts the sound waves into electrical signals and sends them to an amplifier. The amplifier increases the power of signals and then sends to the ear through receiver.
How does it help?
Hearing aids are primarily useful in improving the hearing and speech comprehension of people who have hearing loss or impairment.
How can I find out if I need a hearing aid?
If you think you might have hearing loss or your family says that you can’t hear once said then you need to Visit Audiologist to investigate whether you have hearing loss or not
Signs of hearing loss:
If you find any of these you need to consult Audiologist.
Who is an Audiologist?
He will also guide you before and after ear surgery.