Cochlear Implants vs. Hearing Aids
The 2 most popular treatment solutions for children who are deaf or hard of hearing are:
- Cochlear implants
- Hearing Aids
Although no known technology can completely restore hearing, both of these assistive devices can help improve your child’s ability to hear and communicate. And this can enable them to more confidently engage in social situations and interact with their hearing peers.
However, which solution to choose ultimately depends on the exact nature of your child’s hearing loss.
When Are Hearing Aids the Better Choice for Your Child?
Hearing aids are assistive devices that work by amplifying the sound signals that reach the brain for processing. Although hearing aids can be purchased over-the-counter from any number of vendors, proper fitting and customization by a licensed pediatric audiologist are essential for optimal results.
Hearing aids can be safely put on and taken off every day – even by young children. This is because they fit snugly in (or on) the ear.
This treatment solution is best suited for children with mild to slightly severe hearing loss.
When Are Cochlear Implants the Better Choice for Your Child?
With normal 20/20 hearing, tiny hairs in the ear’s cochlea quickly vibrate and send sound signals to the brain for processing. When those follicles become damaged, however, this sound transmission no longer works – resulting in near to total deafness.
However, it’s possible to partially restore hearing with cochlear implants – i.e. tiny electrical devices that are surgically inserted under the skin (behind the ear). These implants work by bypassing the cochlea and stimulating the auditory nerve directly.
Receiving cochlear implants is a relatively safe procedure – with very mild side effects. And this treatment solution is best suited for children with sensorineural hearing loss.
Which Does My Child Need: Hearing Aids or Cochlear Implants?
The best way to determine the most appropriate treatment is to have your child’s hearing tested by an audiologist.
At CCHAT, we offer a painless, and non-invasive hearing evaluation to properly diagnose the:
- Extent of your child’s hearing ability.
- Root cause of any potential hearing loss.
This in-depth analysis allows us to recommend the best course of action, whether that involves hearing aid fitting or a more comprehensive cochlear implant evaluation.
Note that your child does not have to be currently enrolled at CCHAT to qualify for these diagnostic hearing tests. This service is available for all children in the greater Sacramento area.
However, if your child is enrolled, your entire family can participate in our early intervention services and counseling. In addition, we’ll also help you coordinate with:
- Area health professionals
- Pediatric dispensing audiologists
- CCHAT school personnel
- Early intervention specialists
This interdisciplinary support ensures that your child’s hearing needs are fully covered. At CCHAT, our ultimate goal is to help our students matriculate into mainstream schools where they can continue to thrive – both academically and socially.
If you’d like to have your child’s hearing tested, schedule an evaluation with us today.
We look forward to seeing you soon.