Cochlear Implants for adults

When to consider cochlear implants for adults

Sudden Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is impacting daily life

Hearing aids are not enough

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Sudden Hearing Loss

Sudden hearing loss is defined as rapid loss of hearing that begins with no warning and no clear reason. Developing over 24 hours or less, it is most commonly to occur in just one ear. The hearing loss arises in the cochlea of the inner ear or in the hearing nerve.

  • Viral infection
  • Bacterial infection 
  • Stroke
  • Loss of blood flow to the in ear (Ischemia)
  • Ruptured membrane in the inner ear
  • Disruption of fluid balance in the ear (Meniere’s disease)
  • Autoimmune inner ear disease
  • Tumor of the hearing nerve (Acoustic neuroma) 
  • Migraines
  • Medications that can trigger hearing loss as a side effect 
  • Neurological disorders
  • Low thyroid hormones
  • Circulation issues (Vasculitis)
  • Unable to hear on waking up in the morning
  • Unable to hear on the phone
  • A loud ‘pop’ sound before hearing disappears
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Ringing in the ears (Tinnitus)
  • Feeling of fullness in the affected ear
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Facial weakness or numbness
  • Hoarseness of voice (Voice change)
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Unsteadiness 
  • Change in taste

Hearing loss is impacting daily life

One suffering with hearing loss experiences lack of self-esteem and confidence due to his / her impaired ability to communicate with others. It can also obstruct one from learning to speak any new language.

Hearing loss makes it difficult for one to perform when educational and employment opportunities are provided due to his / her inability to access communication. In an educational setting, one may face troubles in hearing what is being said. Even the background noise in the classroom can make communication less clearer for one. One suffering from hearing loss at an early age goes through the challenges of understanding the spoken language, development of reading skills, and educational achievements which ultimately results in limited job opportunities.

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The chances of hearing loss is high among those who are more than 65 years of age and also those who have been exposed to noise. As hearing loss disturbs one’s interpersonal communication along with hindering the perception of meaningful environmental sounds, he / she starts to experience depression. Feeling of embarrassment and self-criticism seeps in when one faces difficulty in understanding what is being said by others. It gets challenging for one to accept their hearing loss and admit about his / her day-to-day problems to others. One experiences anger, frustration, discouragement, guilt and stress related to hearing loss as a result of communication problems.

Hearing loss impairs one’s need for better career guidance, job training, and job placement, subsequently leading to his / her poor preparation for entering the job environment on a competitive basis. When hearing loss occurs in one during adulthood, prior to the completion of his / her formal education and establishment of a work history or career, it causes problems for job performance and future job mobility. One is likely to face difficulties related to communication berries like working conditions and employer attitudes.

Hearing aids are not enough

Hearing aids are devices that provide one with access to sound and assist in hearing abilities. Although hearing aids may be considered as the first step towards hearing, yet there is more to communicating than merely hearing sounds.

  • Difficulty in hearing conversations
  • Difficulty in hearing with background noise
  • Often asking others to repeat
  • Often misunderstanding what is being said
  • Difficulty in hearing on the telephone
  • Increasing the volume of television louder than others
  • Feeling that everyone is mumbling 
  • Withdrawing from conversations as it gets difficult to hear
  • Reading lips to understand what others are saying

In case one is experiencing the above mentioned signs, he / she should consult an ENT Specialist and consider the possibilities of using a cochlear implant.

Before getting a cochlear implant, one should consider whether it has:

  • Updatable, programmable and advanced technology
  • Waterproof capabilities
  • Rechargeable or non rechargeable batteries
  • Prolonged life span
  • Warranties
  • Guarantees
  • Features and attributes that are compatible with one’s lifestyle requirements
  • Easily available alternate parts
  • Pre and post implantation support 

Hearing aids are helpful when one is suffering from mild, moderate, or severe hearing loss with a good level of understanding speech. As long as the cochlea (organ of hearing) in one’s ear can differentiate speech well, a hearing aid will be beneficial. Cochlear implants on the other hand are more suitable for severe hearing loss. When one’s cochlea has lost its ability to differentiate speech, then a cochlear implant will be helpful to restore the cochlea’s ability to hear and comprehend speech. Unlike amplifying the sound like hearing aids, cochlear implants tend to make the sound clearer by electrically stimulating the hearing nerve to activate hearing, even in noisy environments.

Cochlear Implant Basics

What are cochlear implants? How do they work?
Understand the basics of Cochlear implants.

Hearing Loss

How does hearing work? What is hearing loss and what are it’s types?

Diagnosis of hearing loss
Cochlear Implants for adults

Preparing for Surgery

Learn everything about preparing for the surgery.