In over 90% of cases of hearing loss, hearing aids are recommended. In fact, for most hearing loss, hearing aids are the only treatment. Today, hearing aids are smaller, more comfortable, and most importantly - more effective - than ever before, which explains why satisfaction with new hearing aids is at an all-time high of 90% (Kochkin, 2005).
|Photo Courtesy Oticon|
Hearing aids today are digital microcomputers that can automatically adjust to ensure sounds are audible and comfortable. And with a whole host of twenty-first century features, they’re easy – and even fun – to use. Even basic models today are light years ahead of the most advanced models of just a few years ago.
Thanks to miniaturization of electronics and a new focus on design, more styles and sizes are also now available. More and more people can wear tiny, nearly invisible models, or sleek styles that are much less conspicuous than the latest Bluetooth headsets. It’s no wonder today that Boomers, Gen Xers, teens and seniors with hearing loss now include hearing aids among their collection of must-have tech accessories.
Thanks to cochlear implants, thousands of adults and children around the world with severe and profound hearing loss have been able to hear and understand better than ever thought was possible. While very powerful and technologically sophisticated hearing aids exist today, they may not improve someone’s ability to understand speech if there are too few or no remaining inner ear sensory cells to stimulate. In cases of severe and profound loss where hearing aids are not beneficial for understanding speech or hearing sounds, cochlear implants may be recommended.
Cochlear implants deliver stimulation directly to the hearing nerve, bypassing the damaged structures of the inner ear. Today, many more people can benefit from cochlear implants than was the case in years past. Advances in the technology, experience with cochlear implants and substantial evidence proving their safety and effectiveness has led to a broadening of the criteria for candidacy. If your loved one has a severe or profound sensorineural hearing loss, he or she may be a candidate for a cochlear implant.
Image courtesy of Cochlear Corporation Ltd.