Hearing Aids vs. Cochlear Implants

Hearing aids and cochlear implants are two methods to cure conductive and sensorineural hearing loss conditions. Conductive hearing defect is caused due to blockages in the sound pathways of the ear canal and sensorineural hearing defect is caused when the inner ear nerves fail to transmit signals to the brain. In this article, we will look into the pros and cons of using hearing aids and cochlear implants.

Hearing Aids – Pros and Cons

The purpose of hearing aid devices is to amplify the sound reaching the ear so that the person clearly hears them. The hearing aid devices amplify the sound to the damaged cochlea.

Advantages of Hearing Aids

  • You can exercise greater control over hearing aid devices in terms of quality.
  • You can upgrade the instruments every few years with latest technology.
  • The cost of hearing aid devices and its accessories are affordable.
  • The cost of maintenance is less. You can visit a local audiologist for follow-ups and correcting malfunctions.
  • The device tubing’s are easy to change at home and manually.
  • The battery gives ample warning for you to change it conveniently.
  • The device does not intervene with the body’s biology as cochlear implants do.
  • You can enjoy even low frequency sounds.

Disadvantages of Hearing Aids

  • High frequency sounds are not too clear.
  • If you are using a hearing aid with linear amplification, listening to loud noise is troubling.
  • Earmold feedback issues are time consuming and a repetitive process.
  • If you are a severe hearing loss patient, you need to get the hearing aid device fitted carefully and well monitored which is a bit difficult when audiologists are not available on certain locations.

Cochlear Implants – Pros and Cons

Cochlear Implants (CI) are a neural prosthesis electronic device aiding people with severe hearing loss conditions to hear by bypassing damaged sensory cells. CI is used only when amplification with hearing aid devices does not work.

Advantages of Cochlear Implants

  • There are no earmold issues and no problems with acoustic feedback.
  • You can use a telephone regularly.
  • Higher frequency consonant perception is possible with greater ease.
  • You have a higher chance of hearing natural sounding voices.
  • Distance hearing is possible with CI.
  • It is easier to understand women’s voice on telephone than men’s voice.
  • The implant bypasses the cochlea.
  • A life saviour for severely impaired hearing loss patients.

Disadvantages of Cochlear Implants

Since the CI is surgically placed, incompetent surgery could lead to staph infection, tinnitus, partial facial nerve paralysis and vertigo.

  • Without adequate insurance, medical costs, device cost, processor and accessory costs are expensive.
  • Future MRI scans become almost impossible.
  • Playing of rough sports like football is not recommended.
  • Unless there is a necessary to change the device, there is no control over it.
  • There are future programming issues for which a visit to the audiologist is necessary, increasing time and travel costs.
  • Batteries have shorter life span.
  • The CI could lead to cochlea scarring and bone growth.

To conclude, the use of either hearing aid devices or cochlear implants depends on the diagnosis. If you have hearing issues, consult a professional ASAP.

Author Bio: Emma Anderson is a creative blogger working on behalf of Hearing Excellence, a company that provides Hearing Aids Solutions that suits your specific needs, lifestyle and budget. For more information, visit http://hearingexcellence.ca

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