Though the technology has been around for several decades to restore the hearing of those who have lost it, cochlear implants still generate a lot of controversy within the general public. The idea of implanting technology to create artificial hearing to some is dangerous not only to the person receiving the surgery, but to society at large. Those for the use of cochlear implants say that any hearing is better than no hearing at all.
Here Are the Pros of Cochlear Implants
The primary benefit of receiving a cochlear implant is the chance to have a greater capacity to hear. The implant stimulates the auditory nerve so that a greater, but different, capacity to hear is achieved. This allows for a recipient to have more opportunities at work, independence, and other countless advantages throughout life.
Children especially benefit from this surgery as they have an ability to quickly adapt to the different sounds that are produced through the implant. Most children can transition from a specialized school for those with hearing challenges to a traditional school with a cochlear implant. Though the cost of this surgery can be expensive, parents of children can often recoup the expense of the surgery over time with the savings they’d have in not having to hire specialists.
The final primary advantage involves safety. With greater hearing achieved, people have the ability to be more aware of the environment that is around them, letting them reduce their risks of harm every day. It is easier to avoid an ambulance with sirens going when you can hear it, for example, then if you must notice it for yourself.
Here Are the Cons of Cochlear Implants
The primary reason why people choose not to receive a cochlear implant is the cost. The average cost of this surgery, including the cost of the implant, is above $50,000. Post-operative care can be another expense that adds to the overall cost, and though some insurance policies do cover the surgery, there are often co-pays required that can be extensive.
Though children have the ability to adapt to the different sounds that an implant produces, that isn’t always the case for adults. Some adults may only have a small gain in hearing perception from the surgery as well, making it a more difficult life instead of a better one after the surgery has been completed.
As with any surgery, there are also risks involved that include death. Though these risk potentials are low, there could be damage to the auditory nerve, to the facial nerves, and there are chances for an infection to set in.
Is Getting a Cochlear Implant the Right Decision?
There is one primary question that must be asked: would the surgery to get a cochlear implant benefit someone’s life? If the answer is a yes, then the potential rewards outweigh potential risks and having the surgery makes sense to do. If they don’t, then maybe the surgery isn’t the right choice at this moment. A cochlear implant has the ability to change a life, however, so how can those without a hearing deficit dictate what is right or wrong for someone who has such a deficit?