With bilateral cochlear implants (both ears) in Ireland’s news recently, here’s some information that may answer readers’ and families’ questions.
Read: Who is a cochlear implant candidate?
Some unilateral (single-ear) implant-wearers keep a hearing-aid in the other ear, and can recognise speech by listening through two ears. Others choose to ‘go bilateral’ with 2 cochlear implants, to maximise their hearing potential.
Read: Going Bilateral (published June 2010)
Children who ‘go bilateral’ may be better able to interact socially and to hear incidental sounds from the back seat of a car, on the street, on a playground or from a different room when at home. There’s also evidence that children who receive bilateral implants early, can have better speech perception.
Read: Early Bilateral CIs Improve Speech Perception
Daily and consistent use of the hearing-device/s is needed for the childrens’ speech perception and development to progress at an age-appropriate level. In adults, cochlear implants are also found to improve speech perception.
Read: Implants Improve Speech Perception For Adults
The quality of life improvement seen in CI-wearers will improve further, with HiFi capabilities in implants being researched by a team at Vanderbilt University (US) that uses image-guided processes when mapping devices.
Read: Putting HiFi Into Cochlear Implants
In cost and quality-of-life terms, cochlear implants are not the most pricey medical device, as the middle-slide on page 10 of this PDF shows.
Read: Costs of cochlear implants versus other procedures
Finally, the HSE can look to telepractice technology to deliver cost-effective intervention to the children and families accessing its hearing services.
- Bilateral Implant Wait List Concerns Irish Parents
- ‘Happy New Ear’ To The HSE From A Parent Group
- Newborn Hearing Test Follow-Up ‘Has Shortfalls’
- Families To Write To The Health Minister On Implants
- How New Zealand’s Hearing Tests Lead To Early Intervention
- A TeleAudiology Program With Lessons For Ireland
- How The HSE Can Use Telepractice To Cut Costs
- Deaf Children ‘Can Learn Their Family Language’