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Did you know that there are different electronic devices that can help with hearing loss? The most common alternative is called Cochlear Implants. If you’ve never heard of this device before, you’re not alone. Many people are unfamiliar with cochlear implants and what they do. In this article, we’ll provide a brief introduction to these small devices and compare the differences between hearing aids vs. cochlear implants to help you determine which one is best for you!

What Is A Hearing Aid?

A hearing aid is a small battery-powered electronic device that is worn in or behind the ear to amplify sound and reduce ambient noise. They are removable devices that contain a microphone, amplifier and receiver that sends sound into the ear.

What Is A Cochlear Implant?

Similar to a hearing aid, a cochlear implant is an electronic device that can channel sound to people who suffer from hearing loss. However, these devices contain an internal receiver that is surgically planted into the ear, and a microphone and transmitter are also positioned externally behind the ear. To create sound, the microphone picks up the sound and translates it into signals to send through the transmitter to the implant.

How Do They Work?

Cochlear implants are more complex in nature than hearing aids. Where a hearing aid simply amplifies sound, a cochlear implant digitizes sound signals and sends these to the auditory nerve before passing the signal to the part of the brain that recognizes the sound.

What Are The Primary Pros and Cons of Each?

Individuals who have cochlear implants often find it easier to use with the telephone, while watching TV, and listening to music because there’s no earmold to get in the way or little acoustic feedback to deal with. However, users don’t have the same control over their device as they do with a hearing aid. A cochlear implant is programmed annually, while a hearing aid can be adjusted quite easily. Cochlear implants also require surgery, which comes with a very high price tag and can run up to $50,000. Surgery also carries some risk, especially for those with underlying medical issues. Hearing aids, on the other hand, cost much less, but they need to be refitted and cleaned regularly.

Which One Is Right For You?

Hearing aids are best for those who have hearing loss that can be improved by simply increasing the volume of sound. In most cases, they can totally or nearly restore hearing in patients. On the other hand, cochlear implants only simulate hearing and are better suited for those who are deaf or are have profound hearing loss and are missing pieces of the sound signals. Children who have been born deaf, are experiencing severe hearing loss, or those who have tried hearing aids and have not had any luck, can also benefit from a cochlear implant.

Hearing aids are often all you need unless you have profound hearing loss and are not having any success with hearing aids. However, hearing aid technology has also greatly improved over the past few years. Superpower hearing aids can be effective at aiding severe-to-profound hearing loss. Visit us at Robillard Hearing Center, and we’ll help determine your condition and then recommend the best treatment option for you. We offer a wide range of hearing devices, hearing programs, tools, and financing options to help make your experience a positive one. Plus, we have 12 locations across the Ottawa area for your convenience. Call us or book online to set up your appointment!