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These products of advanced technology – hearing aids and cochlear implants, are revolutionary and life-changing to many. Both devices are similar in functions and benefits, but both target different groups of patients. If you are suffering from severe to intense hearing loss, cochlear implant treatment might be an option you can consider. If your hearing loss is mild, a hearing aid can be enough for you.

In this article, we will be introducing to you these two hearing assisting devices and the differences between them. That way, you can learn more about them first before considering which one is best to purchase for your needs.

Cochlear implants

Cochlear implants are small electronic devices that provide clear and crisp sounds to patients suffering with severe or significant hearing loss. They are just like hearing aids, but cochlear implants can help you hear better. Cochlear implant consists of two parts, the external portion that rests behind the ear and an internal portion that is usually surgically placed under the skin.

They do not restore hearing but instead, directly stimulate the auditory nerve. They are considered as hearing prosthetics for the damaged portions of the inner ear, by bypassing the damaged portions and serving the converted signals to the different parts of the auditory nerves to process.

Hearing aids

Hearings aids are also small devices that are worn in the ear canal or around their ear that assists patients in hearing better. They are more common and go-to hearing assist devices than cochlear implants.  With the advanced medical technology we have today, many hearing aid models are equipped with personalized functions to allow wearers to customize their hearing experience.

They, too, do not restore hearing to normal. Instead, they amplify and magnify the sounds collected from the surrounding environment to certain frequencies.

How are cochlear implants and hearing aids different?

  • Sound travels: Hearing aids alter sounds, but cochlear implants do not. Instead, they alter the way the sounds are being transmitted to the auditory nerves.
  • Comfortability: Getting used to wearing hearing aids is faster than having implantation surgery for the cochlear implants and getting used to that. It takes a few months to recover and re-adapt to the new norm and to fine-tune the device to your specific needs.
  • Price: Hearing aids are far more affordable and cheaper than cochlear implants.
  • Convenience: Hearing aids can be worn or taken off easily whereas for cochlear implants, the external portion must be removed if you wish to do any water sports.

Which one is best for you?

Hearing aids are always the first option to turn to when addressing a loss of hearing or impairment. But it depends also on the level of hearing loss the patient may be experiencing.

At Cochlear Implant Singapore, we have more than 4 decades of global and regional experience in the assessment of hearing, consultations, and treatments. We aim to be a safe space for people who have undergone cochlear implant or are planning to, as well as for their loved ones too. If you are not sure which cochlear implant to choose, do book a consultation with us today to find out more about the cochlear implant treatment options out there.

(Image from Unsplash)