Hearing Aid vs Cochlear Implant

Hearing Aid vs Cochlear Implant

A child learns to speak and communicates by hearing. If the hearing is impaired then there may be defective speech or if hearing loss is very severe child may not attain speech at all.

Depending on the hearing loss the choice between the hearing aid and a cochlear implant is made. If the loss is such that hearing aid gives the desired benefit to auditory function and child developed good language and speech then it is of use. Otherwise, an option of the cochlear implant is to be exercised because the purpose is to have good hearing so that language development can take place and child can be rehabilitated to the mainstream of society.

For profound sensorineural hearing loss (> 90dB), the cochlear implant is the option but one has to see the possibility of inserting the implant by CT scan and MRI.

Hearing aid is generally preferred if the patient is having hearing loss up to moderate or moderately severe category (Hearing loss less than 70 dB).

It is necessary to see how both these devices functions?

A hearing aid amplifies the sound which is then perceived by the normal hearing mechanism like from the ear drum to bones of hearing to the inner ear and then through auditory nerve sound signals goes to the brain.

While in a cochlear implant, the electrodes directly stimulate the ganglions of nerve thereby passing the damaged part of the cochlea. These signals are then perceived by the brain.