The Cochlear Implant: Pros and Cons and What to Expect

cochlear implant pros and cons   Whether you were born deaf or your hearing loss is more recent, getting a cochlear implant is a huge decision to make. Are there cochlear implant pros and cons? Like with every major decision, there’s a positive side and a negative side to getting these implants. For example: while they are designed to work better than traditional hearing aids and provide a better ‘hearing’ experience, they don’t always work for everyone. To help make your decision a little bit easier, we’ve put together a list of cochlear implant pros and cons for you to review. The Pros:
  • Improved sense of hearing, which can aid communication with friends and family, make speech perception easier, and make active conversations more enjoyable.
  • Ability to perceive audible danger cues from the surrounding environment such as horns, sirens, and thunderstorms, which helps improve safety.
  • Ability to potentially enjoy music (again), can make phone conversations easier, and increased learning abilities and opportunities.
  • Increased sense of confidence and ability to adapt to an environment with minimal assistance, which not only makes daily life easier but can help with job and career opportunities.
The Cons:
  • Won’t replace normal hearing, and requires training, coaching, and therapy to be able to translate the sounds received into ‘normal’ sounds
  • They pick up background interference just like regular hearing aids, meaning you have to adjust your attention and try to compensate or ignore those sounds.
  • Cost — between the cost of the device, training, maintenance, and any potential repairs or replacements, the devices aren’t cheap.
  • Limits on physical activities, such as swimming or hard contact sports where the implant could become damaged.
  • The risk that it won’t work well, or at all, and the surgery could potentially cause a loss of any remaining hearing ability.
It is also important to keep in mind that this implant is a major surgery, and carries with it all the risks and complications that all major surgeries have. Age, health, level of hearing, length of your deafness, the type of the device used, and whether your auditory nerve is functioning are all factors that can help determine whether a cochlear implant is going to work correctly for you.

Weighing The Pros And Cons

While this list of cochlear implant pros and cons CAN’T replace a professional’s opinion, it offers a great place to start a conversation with your doctor or hearing loss specialist. They can work with you to help figure out what your risks are, and decide if the benefits will outweigh any potential risks you might have in your case. Even if you’re worried that an implant won’t work for you, it’s important to remember that each case is different, and you may end up being pleasantly surprised! One more important to note — while cochlear implants CAN improve your daily interactions and quality of life, they aren’t a magic hearing fix that you can set and forget. They do require hard work, dedication, maintenance, and attention, just like anything else worthwhile in your life. If you’re willing to put forth the hard work, and your professionals have decided that an implant is a good fit for you, then a cochlear device can help you enjoy the things in life you might be missing due to hearing loss — or help you learn new things to love and enjoy! Don’t hesitate to visit your doctor or local specialists today — there’s no reason to wait!
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