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Hearing Aids vs Cochlear Implants

2020-02-18T16:16:26+00:0021 February 2020|hearing aids, hearing loss, hearing products|

cochlear implant

If you’re considering treatment for a hearing impairment, it’s important to be familiar with the different devices available to you and their benefits. Two primary hearing devices available today are hearing aids and cochlear implants. While both of them provide great benefits to the user, their implementation is situational and based upon an individual’s specific needs.

Cochlear Implants

Although the more expensive choice, cochlear implants can effectively transform one’s quality of life. The main difference between a cochlear implant and a hearing aid is that it’s surgically implanted under the user’s skin. It essentially serves as a synthetic replacement to the damaged portions of one’s inner ear and serves as a more serious treatment option than a hearing aid. Unfortunately, they also require a lot of care, and can have negative side effects. Aside from their high initial cost, therapy and follow-up consultations can cost upwards of $30,000 to $50,000. Any damage to the implant may also require additional surgery to repair.

Hearing Aids

In contrast to the sensitive and costly cochlear implant, a hearing aid is a much simpler device to care for and use. They are small devices worn in or around the ear that can be customized to fit the wearers hearing needs. The newest digital hearing aids are high tech devices that turn sound waves into electrical signals, which are then separated, analyzed, and played for the user at the correct volume and pitch. This all happens instantaneously and is entirely customizable as well, ensuring that each user hears what they feel is most important. Hearing aids are much more cost effective than a cochlear implant and require no surgery, or specialized therapy. They can provide better hearing in any situation, and are highly adaptable to each individual’s needs. 

Price and Practicality

While a hearing aid and a cochlear implant may serve a very similar purpose, they differ greatly in terms of how they function. For starters, hearing aids are substantially less expensive than an implant, ranging at about $1,000 to $4,000 each, while a cochlear implant may cost up to $100,000. A hearing aid is more capable of withstanding day-to-day bumps and bruises, allowing the user to participate in sports, water sports, or other rugged outdoor activities. A cochlear implant requires that the user take great care when taking part in contact or water sports, even when made to be waterproof. A hearing aid does not interfere with other medical procedures and can be removed if the user feels any discomfort. A cochlear implant, however, may affect MRI scans, and can cause paralysis, dizziness, and even an additional loss of hearing. That being said, a cochlear implant is typically used in more severe cases of hearing loss, while a hearing aid primarily treats mild to moderate hearing loss.

If you or a loved one are considering investing in a hearing aid, feel free to contact the experts at New Generation Hearing Centers, or book a free appointment with us at one of our locations.