Cochlear Implant vs Hearing Aid
Cochlear implants and hearing aid are modern medical devices designed for patients with mild to moderate to severe hearing loss. An Audiologist that is a Doctor of Audiology, diagnose and evaluates in detail and suggests which device is best for the patient. The hearing specialist is the only one who could identify and diagnose which one is best as per the patient’s condition. Undoubtedly, to make life more comfortable for patients with hearing loss, it is important to schedule a visit with the specialist to plan the line of treatment. Without a doubt, India offers the best range of Cochlear Implants at an affordable cost.
Cochlear Implant versus Hearing Aid
Both hearing aid and cochlear implant are the best choices for the patient depending on the type of hearing loss. In mild to moderate cases of hearing loss hearing aids are a choice of the device but it should be noted in patients with severe hearing loss cochlear implants work best.
Hearing aids are electronic devices that are prescribed to improve sound going to the ear. These devices are embedded with a microphone, computer chip, speaker, and battery, together they work and amplify sound going to the ear. It amplifies sounds that are detected by damaged ears. In addition to this, they are available in various designs, shapes, sizes, and colors these days so the patient could choose the same.
A cochlear implant is used in severe hearing loss patients basically in the patients who are deaf might be children or adults. Moreover, these devices are complex modern electronic devices that are surgically implanted that help deaf people achieve a sense of sound.
However, Cochlear implant surgery does not restore hearing but helps the deaf to achieve representation of sound in the environment thus understanding speech. A cochlear implant directly stimulates the auditory nerve and identifying sound requires learning.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss requires timely diagnosis and treatment for a better prognosis. The symptoms of hearing loss are –
- Unable to understand telephonic conversation
- Unable to listen to TV a normal voice
- Listen to music in a loud place.
- Difficulty in perceiving soft to loud noises.
- Need to do lip-reading to understand the person talking
- Experience ringing in ears
Cochlear implant surgery could be done on adults, children, and small babies but not everyone is the ideal candidate. The ideal candidates for cochlear implant surgery are –
- Firstly the one’s who have profound hearing loss in both ears.
- Secondly, in people for whom a hearing aid is not beneficial.
- Thirdly, no serious medical issues must be there that might cause any risk during or after surgery.
- Fourthly, they should have good support from family and friends that could help them in learning the speech and communicating with the world.
Once the patient fits the eligibility criteria for getting a Cochlear implant surgery, the audiologist with their team would undergo screening, medical examination, physical examination of the inner ear, and radiological examination including MRI or Ct scans.
Along with that, the patient would be guided about the long-term follow-up visits that are required post-surgery and if or she is motivated enough to participate in follow-up visits in hearing rehabilitation.
How is Surgery Performed?
The team of doctors performs this surgery in general anesthesia and is completed in a minimum of 3 hours. A small incision is made and the cochlear implant is placed. After the procedure the incision is closed, stitches are placed and dressing is done.
After a day or two, the patient is discharged and later they are suggested for follow-up visits.
Factors Affecting The Cochlear Implant Surgery
Moreover, various factors affect cochlear implant surgery. Pre-surgical, surgical, and post-surgical factors might differ from person to person. Thus the cost might vary from one person to another. The various factors that determine cost are –
- Screening tests
- Surgery cost
- Implant cost
- Single implant or Double implant
- Consultation charges of doctor and team of doctors
- Type of hospital
- Hospital stay
- Follow up visit charges
- Any complications pre or post-procedure.
- Types of Hearing implants
The Most Common Types of Hearing Implants Are
- Cochlear implants – They are helpful for deaf patients to hear and understand sounds and ultimately communicate.
- Bone conduction devices – These devices send vibrations from bones in the head to the inner ear. They usually bypass both the outer and middle ear.
- Middle ear implants – These devices send vibrations to the middle ear that finally reach the inner ear.
- Auditory brain stem implants – These devices send signals directly to the brain bypassing the auditory nerve.
Benefits of Cochlear Implants
Cochlear implants are best for patients who are deaf or have severe hearing loss and are thus unable to communicate with the world.
The benefits of cochlear implants are
- Easy to understand speech without lip-reading.
- Could hear the TV.
- Could hear the music.
- Regain the normal ability to hear and understand speech.
- Could talk over the phone and attend phone calls.
- Improved hearing than no hearing at all.
- Could benefit children in understanding speech and thus listening ability.
- Could perceive sounds like a siren, phone ringing, music, footsteps which means from soft to loud all sounds are perceived well among some people.
Risks Associated With Cochlear Implant Surgery
Despite having various benefits, Cochlear implant surgery might be associated with various risks too. These complications might include –
- Usually, people respond well to anesthesia, but some people get complications with general anesthesia, which might be due to some pre-existing medical issues.
- Infection at the site of the skin wound could occur in some patients.
- Ringing in the ear might be another complication.
- Fluid could leak from the hole that is created to place the implant, the fluid is normally present in our inner ear.
- Blood might ooze out from the site of surgery.
Other than this, as per the health and medical history of the patient, there might be other complications that couldn’t be predicted.
Cochlear Implant Surgery In Children
Cochlear implant surgery is advised in babies who are 1year of age or older and have severe hearing loss in both the ears that simple hearing aid is not helpful. As stated earlier, cochlear implant surgery doesn’t restore normal hearing, it would help the child to perceive sound information and thus communicate with the surrounding.
The child is admitted for the procedure for a day or two depending upon how well he or she responds to the surgery. The surgery is done in general anesthesia and the parents are suggested to have patience for a month or two till the child develops the habit to perceive sounds and respond.
Follow-up visits with the doctor are mandatory to get the education about how to use the cochlear implant pretty well.
Cochlear Implant Cost in India
A cochlear implant is a device placed in the inner ear of a patient suffering from hearing loss. In addition to this cochlear implants make the person more comfortable with the environment thus help in a better understanding of speech and ultimately a better life. Cochlear implant procedures include both surgery and therapy to identify the sound and develop a sense of hearing by the device.
Cochlear Implant cost in India varies from area to area, from hospital to hospital, however, the minimum cost of a cochlear implant in India usually starts from USD 10,000 to USD to 11,000 in India though the cost may vary depending upon the choice of the implant.
On the other hand, Cochlear implant surgery cost in India is based on multiple factors that might include the experience of the surgeon in the field, the location, the facilities provided in a hospital, length of stay in the hospital. With time replacement and repairing of implants might be required. Some insurance also covers Cochlear implant surgery.
At this time, Cochlear implant surgery cost in India is much lower than the cost in other countries.
Best Hospitals in India for Cochlear Implants
Communication with the world is a blessing. Hearing loss affects the individual much at a mental level as it decreases the quality of life. To improve the quality of life Cochlear implants are recommended by doctors based on the individual case.
Best Cochlear implant hospitals in India are :
- Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi
- Max super Specialty hospital, Saket, Delhi
- Artemis Hospital, Delhi
- Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai
- BLK, Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi
- Fortis hospital (FMRI), Gurgaon
- MGM Hospital, Chennai
Last but not the least, following the Cochlear implant surgery, a person needs continuous motivation and follow-up visits to do mapping of implant and speech therapy for at least for a few months. Learning takes time, thus constant efforts from the patient, his /her family members, and friends are important. For more details about cochlear implant cost in India contact us now!!