What is it?
An implant to hear better? Isn't that a bit scary? Do I need a donor for it? These and more, popped up in our heads the first time we heard of cochlear implants. We decided to do more research naturally.
A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants do the work of damaged parts of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain.
Here is a video for visual learners like Johann (wink):
We found out the difference between hearing aids and cochlear implants too. Hearing aids are a wonderful technology to begin with but here is something better. But it comes with a different set of pros and cons.
Pros and Cons
At least for us, we see it as a means for Johann to hear better. Even at a profound hearing loss level, Johann has good hearing in the lower frequencies of sound and we want to preserve that. Cochlear implants, doing the work only for damaged inner ear parts meant that it will let the remaining undamaged areas do its part first, then supplement.
Cochlear implants will also let Johann hear better in noisy environments. Currently, when Johann is in a noisy place, guess what he'll do. Yep, he turns his hearing aids off.
Johann loves to dance and sing (in his own capacity haha!) but with hearing aids, sounds are limited. With cochlear implants, it is said that he'll hear music better, and even be able to talk on the phone in his ears. Currently, he can't (we put the phones in speaker mode).
Of course, there is the biggest hurdle for cochlear implants. Here in the Philippines it costs around 25k USD or around 1.1M PHP. That's just for the device alone. Imagine families not even affording hearing aids for their children?
The next hurdle is the surgery itself. Surgeries have their own set of risks and those also apply for cochlear implant surgeries too!
After much thought and prayers we have decided to give cochlear implants a go. We always pray for Johann to have the miracle of better hearing and now, hopefully with the advent of this cochlear implant technology, we will give Johann just that.