Hearing loss can severely affect a person’s quality of life. The problem is that not all types of hearing loss may be helped by hearing aids or standard surgery. Sometimes, the hearing is so poor that only the option of hearing implants remains.
Hearing implants are a reliable modern solution to today’s hearing problems and can considerably improve quality of life for those with hearing loss. These include bone conduction hearing devices (Bone Anchored Hearing Aids BAHA and Bonebridge) and cochlear implants. More than 300,000 cochlear implants have been performed worldwide since 1985, with overall good results in most cases.
Cochlear implants are surgically implanted devices which stimulate the inner ear (cochlea) with electrical signals. These are converted into sound signals by the brain to allow the patient to hear again. The surgery itself may be done as a daycase procedure but often, patients prefer to stay in hospital overnight and go home the next day. The cochlear implant is usually switched on 2-3 weeks after surgery. Specialised speech therapy is then conducted over the next few mths to help the patient learn to use his new cochlear implant.
Other types of hearing implants e.g. BAHA, Bonebridge, Vibrant Soundbridge, may be suitable to manage different types of severe to profound hearing loss.