Many reasons are there, why don’t all deaf people get cochlear implants and choose not to get a cochlear implant. Before we start, please know that cochlear implants aren’t magic for hearing loss and communication barriers.
There are many factors, such as age, language acquisition, support, other disabilities, the degree of deafness, the age of deafness, all these can affect the success rate of the cochlear implant for an individual. Getting a Cochlear implant isn’t like turning on a radio and hearing loss person will immediately hear the surrounding sound. It doesn’t work that way. There are practical and ideological barriers to getting cochlear implants. This is one of these cases where one size does not fit all.
How does Cochlear Implant work?
A large number of people suffering from hearing impairment because the hair cells present in the inner ear (or cochlea) are damaged. The cochlear implant enables the sound to get transferred to the hearing nerve and enables us to hear. The process is described below:
- A sound processor is to be worn behind the ear or on the body to capture the sound and turns it into digital code.
- The sound processor is used to transmits the digitally-coded sound through the coil present outside of your head to the implant.
- The cochlear implant helps to converts the digitally-coded sound into electrical impulses and finally sends them along with the electrode array placed in the cochlea (the inner ear).
- The implant’s electrodes restore the cochlea’s hearing nerve, which at last sends the impulses to the brain where they are interpreted as sound.
Barriers To Getting Cochlear Implant to deaf people
1. Not every person is eligible for the cochlear implant.
Not every candidate is eligible for a cochlear implant, you must have
- moderate to profound hearing loss (but most candidates have severe to a profound hearing loss), and
- A functioning auditory nerve
Someone with a medium hearing loss may be a candidate, it may lead to the patient losing more than they gain. The Cochlear implant bypasses the auditory nerve directly and the patient will lose all-natural hearing.
If the deaf people have a functioning auditory nerve, he may get the cochlear implant treatment. But he/she may not eligible for this treatment if there is a lack of proper functioning of the auditory nerve.
2. Few culturally Deaf individuals – Getting a CI is both unnecessary and a breach of cultural integrity.
A culturally Deaf person doesn’t see deafness as a problem to solve, a condition to cure. Deafness is a point of pride for them. It’s an identity. Need an operation to give some hearing will destroy person identity for them. It’s a betrayal of their cultural values.
Thus due to cultural values of deaf individuals and in order to maintain their personal identity, they dont show interest in these treatments.
3. There are diminishing returns on implantation as a prelingually deaf individuals age.
CI works efficient based on many factors, but two of the major ones are the age of deafness and the age of implantation.
For those who have been deaf since birth or before speaking, a cochlear implant is a more challenging endeavor, neurologically speaking.
Thus deafness due to aging, congenital factors or other internal defects of the auditory system are the barriers of cochlear implant treatment for the deaf people.
4. CIs require large and long-term financial, time, and resource commitments.
Cochlear implants aren’t natural hearing. These cochlear implants require maintenance of more than one kind. Here is a list of stuff that a hearing loss person required to make decent use of CIs:
- Speech Therapy
- Family Involvement
- Upgrades and Repairs
Cochlear implants are expensive in terms of money, time and commitment. Not every people have that luxury. The cost of the cochlear implant in India, as well as cost in other countries, are relatively high. This can also be the reason for not getting cochlear implants to all deaf people.
5. There may be little support in the area.
You can purchase the latest hearing aids at a fair price through HearingSol, If you need more information or you have a query about Cochlear Implants or Hearing Loss, just give us a call on +91-9899437202. We are always here to help you.