People living with hearing loss may find that hearing aids enable them to hear better, particularly when combined with appropriate therapy. For people with a severe hearing impairment, cochlear implants might enable them to hear much more clearly than hearing aids alone.
In order to figure out which option is best for you, it’s best to do some research.
What Is a Cochlear Implant?
Cochlear implants are tiny devices that are surgically inserted into the cochlea. While the cochlea is a big part of the inner ear, it’s not responsible for receiving sounds; that’s the job of the outer ear.
However, when the main parts of the inner ear are damaged by loud noises or other problems, they can’t transmit the sounds they receive to the brain. A cochlear implant bypasses the damaged parts of the ear in order to bring sounds directly to the brain, where they can be understood.
How Does a Cochlear Implant Work?
A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that helps restore partial hearing in adults and children who are profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing.
It’s an appropriate option for people who can’t use hearing aids or don’t have enough remaining hearing to benefit from them.
What Are Hearing Aids?
A hearing aid is a small electronic device that is worn in or near the ear to provide sound amplification. It should not be confused with a cochlear implant, which is a device surgically placed in the ear to allow the wearer to hear.
While hearing aids generally improve hearing in one ear, it is technically possible for someone with a significant hearing loss in one ear to have hearing aids in both ears. This is known as a “bilateral hearing aid.”
A hearing aid has several parts: the main body, a battery and a microphone, usually attached by a cord. The microphone picks up sound, which it then transmits to the ear through the body. The body amplifies the sound and transmits it to the ear.
How Do Hearing Aids Work?
Hearing aids are designed to amplify sounds so that they reach a normal level. They work by collecting sound waves from the environment and then amplifying them to become louder.
The sound is then directed into the vestibule through a tiny ear canal and loudspeaker. This process can restore hearing to someone who wears hearing aids. Communication is improved and sound quality is enhanced, including their ability to detect higher frequencies.
Which One Should I Get?
While cochlear implants can restore hearing to those who have lost most of it, they aren’t appropriate for everyone. A person should be evaluated by a hearing loss expert and audiologist to determine whether a cochlear implant is a right option.
To evaluate someone for a cochlear implant, the audiologist will take a careful look at both the person’s hearing and the health of their ears. If the patient has a significant hearing loss in both ears, the audiologist may recommend a bilateral cochlear implant to restore their hearing.
When choosing between a cochlear implant and hearing aid, your audiologist will consider a variety of factors, from your hearing, needs to your lifestyle. Cochlear implants and hearing aids work differently, but they both help the wearer hear more clearly.
If you are considering getting a cochlear implant or hearing aid, Hear More Associates can help you out. We provide the best hearing test in Lexington to help you find hearing devices that best fit you. Get in touch with us today to learn more.