Some people suffer hearing loss at birth, while others over the course of their life after being subjected to disease, loud noise or physical injury that result to ear damage and hearing loss. It can be debilitating to lose one’s hearing. Cochlear implants are electronic medical devices for solving hearing loss, but it is not a perfect solution. Here are reasons why and why not cochlear implants are beneficial.
List of Pros of Cochlear Implants
1. Improves Hearing
For some people with hearing loss, the chance of hearing again, or hearing for the first time opens doors of opportunities for them. It allows them to cultivate and explore that part of their lives, which was otherwise absent or damaged. This is the main advantage of cochlear implants.
2. Improves Way of Life
People with hearing loss often have limited opportunities when it comes to education and career. Unlike people who can hear well, those with hearing loss may require special attention and care, and communication does not come easy especially when interacting with those who do not know sign language and other non-verbal communication. Having cochlear implant may help improve their quality of life.
3. Promotes Safety
People with hearing loss cannot hear sirens, ringing bells, horns and other warning sounds. They cannot hear the sound of a vehicle or wild animal coming their way. The ability to hear helps a person to be alert of their surroundings. Cochlear implants may help people to hear these critical warning sounds and help them to be safe.
List of Cons of Cochlear Implants
1. Very Expensive
Many insurance companies do not cover cochlear implants, so the person has to shoulder all the costs, which could be the biggest limiting factor for people with hearing loss. Normally, the implant and after-surgery care would run at least $50,000, something that very few people can afford.
2. Requires Adjustment
Having to hear sounds again in a long time, or for the first time requires adjustment. Some sounds may not be transmitted properly by the device, which poses problems. It may be easier and quicker for children to adjust than adults, who need to learn about sounds for the first time. Then there are physical activity limitations for those with cochlear implants. They cannot join contact sports, water sports, and any activity that may damage the cochlear implant.
3. Surgical Risks
There is the possibility of damage to the facial nerves and muscles, as well as other complications after surgery. The area around the cochlear implant may feel itchy, dry, and irritated. Some people do not adjust well wearing electronic implants in their bodies.
The decision to undergo cochlear implant is a personal one. People with hearing loss should weigh the pros and cons of cochlear implants carefully before going through the surgery. The procedure does not guarantee total hearing, and complications are likely. In the end, it is up to the parent or person if they choose to have cochlear implants or not.