FIND OUT WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A HEARING AID AND A COCHLEAR IMPLANT - choose the best for your child.
You've just found out about your child's hearing impairment and don't know which device to choose? Where to get information concerning which is better for your child - a hearing aid or a cochlear implant? Thanks to this article you will get to know the basic differences between the two. In addition, you will get the necessary information concerning what to focus on when making the final choice.
They help, but do not heal - a brief description of the characteristics of the two devices
Initially, it is worth noting that both hearing aids and cochlear implants only help to improve the quality of hearing. None of these devices heal, and thus does not restore hearing. Nevertheless, both a hearing aid as well as a cochlear implant allow to hear. Depending on the extent of the hearing impairment, a doctor may recommend a hearing aid or determine being qualified for a cochlear implant.
When a hearing aid is the right solution?
Hearing aids constitute the most common solution in case of hearing impairments. They help with mild hearing loss up to severe hearing loss. They are usually small electronic devices that can be easily put on and taken off. A hearing aid works by amplifying the frequency of sounds that reach it from the environment. It is recommended that children who do not suffer from complete hearing loss use hearing aids.
A cochlear implant and its application
Cochlear implants are a solution taken into consideration only when hearing aids are insufficient. This usually happens when the treatment concerns severe sensorineural hearing loss caused by the absence or reduced function of the cochlear auditory cells. Cochlear implants are much more complex in technological terms and consist of two parts - internal and external. The implants are implanted surgically and they operate by replacing the function of the damaged cochlea and directly stimulating the auditory nerve. The external device is a speech processor that transmits sounds from the environment to the internal part of the implant, which converts them into an electrical impulse transmitted via electrodes to the cochlea and brain. The sound processor is worn behind the ear, just like hearing aids.
So, which one is right for your child?
Cochlear implants, being more advanced and specialized, are recommended much less frequently than hearing aids. They are most often used in children who are not helped by hearing aids. They are recommended for the youngest, born deaf or with a severe hearing impairment. If your child's hearing impairment is not severe, it is likely that the doctor will recommend a hearing aid.
A consultation with a doctor is essential.
Before making a final decision, a number of diagnostic tests, prescribed by the attending physician, should be performed. After their verification and in-depth analysis, the doctor will decide whether a hearing aid or a cochlear implant should be used in this particular case. A quick diagnosis is very important, especially in young children, because the consequences of an incorrect treatment may affect the further development of the entire organism.
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