A cochlear implant aids moderate hearing loss in a person of any age. According to a study on 30,666 adults, the number of cochlear implants increased to 8,509 in 2019 from 5,406 in 2015. Below is a comprehensive guide to planning cochlear implants at an affordable cost.
For people suffering from age-related hearing loss, the doctors may suggest getting cochlear implants, which are an electronic, hearing aid device responsible to retain hearing partially. Cochlear implants can also be a good option for people suffering from intense hearing loss due to the damage in the inner-ear and want to try an effective hearing aid for restoring hearing capability.
Do not confuse Cochlear implants with hearing aids. Hearing aids function in a way that they amplify the incoming sound whereas a cochlear implant is able to bypass the damaged portions of the ear so as to transmit the sound signals to the auditory (hearing) nerve. Cochlear implants consist of a sound processor which is implanted behind the ear. The processor captivates the sound signals and then delivers them to a receiver which is implanted behind the ear under the skin. The receiver then sends these sound signals to the inner ear (cochlea), where the electrodes are implanted. These sound signals are responsible for stimulating the auditory nerve, which is a bundle of nerve fibres that carries hearing information between the cochlea the brain. After the information reaches the brain, the brain interprets them into sound. However, the sounds that are produced would not be just like normal hearing. It may take a little time to train and to learn on interpreting sound signals which the cochlear implant sends. After almost a year of use, people who have gotten cochlear implants make a significant improvement in understanding speech.
There are several advantages of getting a cochlear implant that you may enjoy. These may include:
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1) Cochlear (Australia)
Cochlear is a global leader in implantable hearing solutions with a global workforce of around 4000 people. Cochlear claims to have provided more than 60000 implantable devices for people of all ages to help the lead a healthy life.
Some of the most successful Cochlear implants from the company are as follows: -
2) MED-EL (Austria)
MED-EL is a private Austrian medical technology company specializing in hearing implants and devices. They develop and manufacture products including cochlear implants, middle ear implants and bone conduction systems.
Some of the leading Cochlear implant systems provided by MED-EL are:-
3) Advanced Bionics Corporation ( Los Angeles, USA)
Advanced Bionics is a global leader in developing the most advanced cochlear implant systems in the world. AB develops cutting-edge cochlear implant technology that restores hearing to those with severe-to-profound hearing loss.
Some of the innovative solutions from AB for Adults and Kids are :-
4) Neubio (Switzerland
Neubio AG was set up in 2017 in Switzerland and is known for providing “Out of the Box” thinking in the way Cochlear Implants are perceived worldwide, be it being safer implant, analog signals or unconventional designs of the external units.
The cost of Cochlear implants depends upon a lot of factors. A parent or adult should consider all these factors before finalizing a Cochlear implant for their child or themselves. Some of the most important factors are: -
|Cochlear Implant Cost Range for the company Cochlear|
|Unilateral Cochlear Implant||$12,000 to $24,000*|
|Depending upon the choice of implant system and processor|
|Cochlear Implant Cost Range for the company MED-EL|
|Unilateral Cochlear Implant||$12,000 to $22,000*|
|*Depending upon the choice of implant system and processor|
|Cochlear Implant Cost Range for the company Advanced Bionics|
|Unilateral Cochlear Implant||$12,000 to $25,000*|
|*Depending upon the choice of implant system and processor|
|Cochlear Implant Cost Range for the company Neubio|
|Unilateral Cochlear Implant||$12,000 to $20,000*|
|*Depending upon the choice of implant system and processor|
Both children and adults can show the candidacy to get cochlear implants. But the eligibility may depend on the extent of the hearing loss. Cochlear implant candidacy is usually determined on a case-by-case basis.
Children are considered viable candidates to get a cochlear implant when they:
Adult candidates are generally eligible for a cochlear implant if they:
Cochlear implants produce a distinct sound from that produced by the human ear. This is due to the fact that a constrained number of electrodes are responsible for performing the functions normally carried out by hundreds of hair cells in a typical cochlea. As a result, you may expect that the noises you hear as a youngster will not be completely natural.
Cochlear implants, in contrast, allow a person to hear sounds that they would otherwise be unable to hear. It won't take long for newborns who have never heard noises before to begin developing new neural connections in their brains to process them. Therapy, practice and the best cochlear device may help all children learn to comprehend these sounds to improve their understanding of spoken language.
There are several causes of hearing loss. These may range from several medical conditions that develop overage, while some can be congenital (present at birth)
Hearing aid and a cochlear implant are two very different things. Hearing aids increase the volume of sounds, so those with hearing loss may still hear. The auditory nerve is stimulated directly via Cochlear Implants, which bypass damaged parts of the ear. The auditory nerve carries the implant's impulses to the brain, where the signals are recognized as sound. For those with cochlear implants, learning to hear again may be challenging. For many individuals, on the other hand, the ability to hear warning signs, other noises in the surrounding environment, and human speech are essential.
Yes, health insurance companies do cover cochlear implant costs. Since cochlear implants are strictly required for patients with hearing impairment, Medicare, Medicaid, and over 90% of private health insurance companies treat cochlear implants as medically necessary treatments.
But again, there is a condition. Cochlear implant surgery will be covered if the patient is a child or ages below 21 years. For adults, it is an optional service in many states of the USA. Your child will be eligible for insurance coverage if they match the criteria of the company policies.
However, there could be a problem with the insurance coverage. Sometimes, insurance companies do not enlist cochlear implants under the medically necessary category and often exclude insurance benefits like covering the cochlear implant price. Many insurance companies also categorize them as hearing aids. This leads to an undeserving denial of insurance coverage. If you are denied cochlear implant costs with insurance, you can appeal for insurance coverage.
To appeal for coverage, please ensure you have the denial in writing. If you do not have that, ask your company to provide a denial in writing. After that, you can appeal for coverage based on the reasons for the denial. You have the full right to appeal and claim for it. You can seek help from your cochlear implant center. Reach out to the advocacy groups for further assistance.
If your insurance company does not provide any written denial, ask them directly to clarify the reasons for the denial. You must get a written denial in response to your claim. Act accordingly after obtaining the written denial.
In the cochlear implants surgery, the surgeon first injects anaesthesia to numb the portion where the surgery will take place, the ear. Once the anaesthesia starts functioning, the doctor starts by making an incision behind the ear and cuts in a way in order to create a slight depression in the portion of skull one (mastoid) where the internal device would be placed. The surgeon will then makes a tiny hole in the cochlea of the ear and passes through the electrode array of the internal device. The incision is finally closed using stitches after the placement of the internal device.
After this the doctor or the concerned audiologist proceeds to activate the cochlear implant via the following steps:
A cochlear implant may help children of any age, but the advantages are greater for those who get it before they start to talk. As a result, their brains are more open to sound and speech development from an early age, when they first encounter sounds for the first time. With cochlear implants, the communication and language skills of profoundly deaf children are often on a level with normal-hearing kids; in many circumstances.
If a child's hearing loss began before birth, it is more probable that a cochlear implant device will let them hear again. Surgery to implant a cochlear device is now regarded as a normal operation and is often carried out during the 1st year of a person's existence. That's because surgical methods and implant technology are continually evolving because of the positive results of early-stage pediatric implants.
There is a proper rehabilitation for people who have had cochlear implant surgery. This is done to train the brain to understand different types of sounds which are heard through the cochlear implant. The voices you will hear from the cochlear implants will be different from what you would have heard before the implant. It will take the brain some time to properly identify what these sounds mean. This process is gradual and shows the best results if you wear the speech processor continuously during waking hours.
You do not have to worry about getting caught or banned at the airport because you have cochlear implants. You can fly with a cochlear implant. However, when you visit an airport, please inform the security staff and other attendants about your cochlear implants. In addition to that, remember to carry your Patient Identification Card. You need to show them at the airport during security checking.
If you are worried that metal detectors might damage your cochlear implants, you can brush them off. Metal detectors or security cameras at the airport do not damage your cochlear implants. You can keep them safe. Moreover, you do not need to take them off during security checking. The metal detectors may catch them, and the alarm may get activated. But if you have already shown them your card, you need not worry. Tell them you cannot hear anything without your cochlear implants, which are necessary for normal hearing. If your implants get damaged in worst-case scenarios, ask the airport authority for further services.
You may hear some distorted sounds due to the proximity of the magnetic field of the security scanners. You can take them off if you are not comfortable with them. But it is crucial to let the security staff know about your implants. You cannot expect everyone to be aware of a cochlear implant. They may ask you to take them off or remove them. Hence, it is better to let them know about them and their apparent purposes. It will reduce the chances of confusion. They will then add them to your profile. So, if there is a chance of missing announcements, airport officials will help you in that case.
Even after boarding the plane, you must inform the flight attendants about your cochlear implants. In case there is an emergency, they will guide you accordingly.
The outcomes of surgery to insert a cochlear implant might vary greatly from patient to patient. Several variables may impact the success of cochlear implantation, including the age at which hearing loss occurred and how long it has been since the procedure. If a kid is born with considerable hearing loss, obtaining a cochlear implant as soon as possible usually yields the greatest outcomes.
When it comes to adults, the greatest outcomes are often connected with a time of significant hearing loss that was shorter before the implantation of the cochlear device. However, both types of adults typically benefit from cochlear implants, and persons with little or no familiarity with sound are likely to gain less from cochlear implants. Among the possibilities for what may happen is:
Hearing is more clear. It is possible that persons who fulfil the hearing requirements for cochlear implantation would ultimately have improved hearing after using the device.
Tinnitus has improved. Tinnitus is not the major reason for receiving a cochlear implant. However, it may be reduced or alleviated in some cases while the device is in operation. In most cases, tinnitus will not be worsened.
You may be a worthy choice for a cochlear implant if normal hearing aids cannot help you hear or speak better or if you have hearing problems that are not treatable with a regular hearing aid. To determine whether it's a good match, you'll need to consult with your doctor. Before making a choice, talk to your doctor about the advantages and disadvantages of the treatment. Electrical impulses are sent to the brain through the cochlea-implanted device, which processes the sounds you hear.
An audiologist may only prescribe hearing aids after a thorough examination of your hearing and hearing loss. Rehabilitating the auditory system after surgery is essential. Your viewpoint and success with the cochlear implant depend on this.