Cochlear implants have improved the quality of life for thousands of people across the globe. Unlike conventional hearing aids that make sounds louder, they take over the job normally done by the cochlea. But will one implant be sufficient? In this article, we examine the question, one cochlear implant or two, which is better?
What Is a Cochlear Implant and Where Does It Go and What Does It Do?
A cochlear implant is a tiny electronic device designed to take over the work of the damaged part of the ear. With one external and one surgically inserted element, cochlear implants allow wearers to hear, even those who would otherwise be deaf.
Bypassing the damaged part of the ear, cochlear implants stimulate the auditory nerve directly. This is different from normal hearing, so the person has to learn to hear with a cochlear implant.
Cochlear implants are inserted during a surgical procedure.
So, let’s return to our question, one cochlear implant or two, which is better?
Research Findings Indicate Two Cochlear Implants Is Better
A research team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has determined that children with two cochlear implants are better able to locate sounds.
Other experts have pointed out that children with two cochlear implants manage better in classroom settings, with their communication skills and ability to cope in noisy environments significantly improved.
Combining One Cochlear Implant with a Conventional Hearing Aid
If you’re asking one cochlear implant or two, which is better, you will also need to consider costs. Because of the considerable costs of cochlear implants, not everyone may be able to afford two. For that reason, some hearing experts have pointed at the benefits of combining one cochlear implant with a conventional hearing aid, leading to a significant cost saving.