The ear is a remarkably complex and efficient hearing system. The whole process of hearing takes place in a fraction of a second.
When are cochlear implants indicated?
When hearing aids are not effective in people with severe-to-profound hearing loss, medical experts consider a cochlear implant to be a more effective long-term solution.
How are cochlear implants different from hearing aids?
Unlike hearing aids, cochlear implants don’t just increase sounds. They mimic the natural hearing function of the inner ear through electronic stimulation.
The system has two parts – an external sound processor and the actual cochlear implant. External sounds are received, processed into electrical signals, and then passed on directly to the hearing nerve (or auditory nerve), completely bypassing the injured parts of the inner ear.
You are a good candidate for a cochlear implant if you find the following when you use a hearing aid-
- Do you have to ask people to repeatedly repeat themselves, even in quiet conversations?
- Do you need lip-reading to help you comprehend what’s being said?
- Do you avoid social activities as you don’t know what’s being said and are worried about responding mistakenly?
- Are you tired in the end of the day because listening takes too much concentration?
- Are you having a difficult time keeping up at work?
- Is it difficult for you to talk on the phone, or is listening to music not anymore enjoyable?
The surgery for the cochlear implant procedure typically takes about 1 to 3 hours. Multiple cochlear implant surgeries are performed each year. The associated risks are small, and your ENT surgeon will talk about them with you.