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More About the Myths and Facts About Cochlear Implants

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 6:54:45 PM Asia/Calcutta

As you have already seen in our previous blog how many people believe blindly in the numerous rumours about cochlear implants. We have talked about the most common myths that we often give ears to and believe in them blindly - without even considering the actual facts. Read this blog if you still aren’t convinced about the benefits and advantages of cochlear implants even after going through our previous blog:


Myths that You Shouldn’t Give Ears to!

  1. Myth - I am too old for a cochlear implant!

Cochlear Implant for Elderly

    • Fact - There is no age limit for undergoing a cochlear implantation! It doesn’t matter whether you or your dear one is 3 year old or 80 year old! You will qualify for a cochlear implant if you are suffering from severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss. Cochlear implants are a permanent solution and a long-term hearing loss treatment option - which would restore your hearing ability and make your life better, doesn't matter what your age is.


  1. Myth - A cochlear implant will destroy my residual hearing!

Residual hearing

    • Fact - It is often true that you might lose some amount of your residual hearing, but the scenario has changed and is continuing to change. As the technology, the electrode designs and signals, and the surgical techniques continue to develop and improve, the chances of residual hearing getting destroyed are less likely. The softer and the delicate electrode designs would not damage the delicate parts of your inner ear. So the amount of the loss of residual hearing due to cochlear implantation was much higher 10 years back than it is now! So cochlear implants are very effective devices for hearing loss treatment.


  1. Myth - Hearing with a cochlear implant is not like normal hearing!

    • Fact - It depends upon the amount of delay you are making in getting a cochlear implant. The longer you have lived with an untreated or improperly treated hearing loss, the more the damage will be, and the lesser the chance of your normal hearing being restored. Also, a child with bilateral cochlear implantation, that is cochlear implants in both the ears will have better outcomes than their peers with unilateral cochlear implantation.


  1. Myth - I can’t go swimming with cochlear implants on!


    • Fact - Swimming won’t damage your internal implant as it is seated inside your skin at the back of your head behind the ear. However, you may require to remove the external sound processor in case it is not waterproof. The good news is that the modern cochlear implants have a waterproof audio processor and you can easily use them while swimming or participating in some water sports. In fact cochlear implant is the only option among any other hearing loss treatment method that might be used in water - hearing aids won’t allow that!


  1. Myth - Being a cochlear implant user, I must stay away from Wi-Fi devices.


    • Fact - Wi-Fi do not interfere with cochlear implants, and on the contrary, the modern day cochlear implant devices use Wi-Fi technology to improve and strengthen communication. With the advancement of technology, the methods of hearing loss treatment have become innovative and smart enough for people to enjoy their lives fully - because hearing loss is no longer a barrier!


  1. Myth - I cannot undergo a MRI scan with cochlear implants on.

MRI Scan

    • Fact - Many modern implants are MRI compatible and you can very well have an MRI scan. However, if your device is not compatible with MRI, then you should have the magnet of your implant surgically removed before undergoing the MRI scan, and after the scan you can have the magnet placed inside the implant again in an absolutely hassle-free manner.


  1. Myth - With cochlear implants, I can’t take part in active sports.

Participation in Active Sports

    • Fact - It is perfectly safe to participate in active sports with cochlear implants. However, according to certified Audiologists, it is always safe to wear a protective headgear to keep the audio processors of your device safe in case you receive any blows - but you don’t have to remove them.


Are you still pondering over the benefits of cochlear implants? You are actually wasting your valuable time! Consult a certified Audiologist and learn about the benefits and outcomes of cochlear implant as a hearing loss treatment. Act wisely as it a matter of your life!

Myths and Facts About Cochlear Implants

Thursday, September 13, 2018 7:00:11 PM Asia/Calcutta

Your Audiologist told you or your child to undergo a cochlear implantation surgery, and you are extremely nervous! Afterall the word ‘surgery’ itself evokes a fright in the person’s mind - especially when it's done somewhere near the brain! But the good news is that there is absolutely nothing to worry about, and cochlear implant is not at all a major surgery! In fact, people are often released on the day of the surgery in many of the cases!

You might have come across many myths and rumours about cochlear implants which might have made you all the more frightened! But if you continue to believe in these delusive statements, then you might develop a negative attitude towards them - when in reality cochlear implants are life-changing - you can’t realise in what ways! So would you rather prefer a proper treatment of hearing loss and aim for a better life, or believe in these myths and ruin your entire life!?


What are Cochlear Implants?

Cochlear implants are electronic devices which is surgically implanted in the ear to replace the damaged cochlea in the inner ear. It enables a person with severe to profound hearing loss to hear clearly, which he or she was unable to otherwise. Cochlear implant is recommended only when hearing aids have failed to show much benefits.

Cochlear implants bypass the normal acoustic hearing system, by replacing it with electronic hearing. Cochlear implant as a treatment of hearing loss has proved much more effective preferred to hearing aids, as it enhances speech understanding. Because unlike hearing aids which simply amplify the sound, cochlear implants - by bypassing the damaged inner ear - stimulates the auditory nerve directly.

To know more about how cochlear implants work, visit our page: Cochlear Implant


Some Popular Myths and Facts

1. Myth - Cochlear implant will replace my natural hearing.


    • Fact - Cochlear implants can never replace your natural God-gifted hearing - in fact no treatment of hearing loss can! Cochlear implants just mimics natural hearing!

2. Myth - Cochlear implants are too expensive!Budget

    • Fact - There are many health insurance companies who cover cochlear implantation surgery. If you say that hearing aids are much cheaper as compared to hearing aids! But if you calculate the overall cost of hearing aids and its associated after sale services, and compare it that with cochlear implants - which are taken just once in your lifetime, the cost become the same! Moreover, with cochlear implantation - being a more effective treatment of hearing loss - you can get a permanent solution, especially when hearing aids fail to work!

3. Myth - Cochlear implant placement involves major surgery!

    • Fact - It is a very minor one, and people don’t even have to stay overnight. Most of them are released within a few hours!

4. Myth - Cochlear implantation involves brain surgery!

    • Fact - Often people think that cochlear implants are imbedded in the brain! No absolutely not! The internal part of the implant is placed behind the ear just beneath the skin, and an array of electrodes are inserted into the cochlea of the inner ear. The sound signals from here are directly transferred to the auditory nerve. The surgeon doesn’t go anywhere near the cranial cavity, where your brain is situated!

5. Myth - There is no problem to wait until my child grows up to make up his own mind to get a cochlear implant.

  1. Cochlear Implant for Children

    • Fact - The first few years of a child is very crucial for developing various developmental skills. This is because of the greater density of neural connections in the brain (synaptic density) till the age of 2 years, hence boosting the child’s ability to learn various skills more rapidly. But if the child is deprived of a proper hearing health, that is, he is living with an untreated hearing loss at this vital age, he might not develop so well later in his life due to the reduction in the synaptic density. Therefore, an early intervention and an early treatment of hearing loss is extremely necessary. It is your duty to promise your child a secured future, and not leave it up to him!

So just go for cochlear implants without hesitation, and if you are still having questions running in your mind, then read the Second Part of our Myths and Facts About Cochlear Implants: (coming soon)

Comments | Posted in Treatment Of Hearing Loss By Phalguni Bannerjee

I Can Hear Ringing Sounds - Do I Have Tinnitus?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 12:14:02 PM Asia/Calcutta

Are you hearing ringing sounds recently, while no one else around you can? Then yes! You probably have tinnitus! However, apart from ringing, there are many other sounds associated with tinnitus - such as buzzing, hissing, whispering, clicking or even roaring! If you are hearing any of these sounds for quite a few days now, then you have tinnitus! Tinnitus is not a disease - it is a symptom of some other health condition or medical complexity. So it is very important for you to know the underlying cause of tinnitus - and if hearing loss is the cause, then undergoing a proper treatment of hearing loss is mandatory! You don’t want to face the darker side of it, do you?


Do I Have Tinnitus?

How Common is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a common complaint among quite a good number of Indians - statistics say it’s about 7-8% of the total Indian population! And what’s worse? People with tinnitus are facing a range of physical and emotional disorders - which is greatly affecting their quality of life! Globally, about 1 in 5 people are having tinnitus problems, and about 1 to 2 out of 100 people face such disturbing tinnitus sounds that it affects their overall health as well as mental problems!

Tinnitus is generally highly associated with hearing loss, but in a study made in the US in 2008, approximately 13 million Americans out of 29.7 million, do not have any hearing loss. However, you must get your hearing checked from a certified Audiologist and if any loss is found, then start a treatment of hearing loss at the earliest.


What Causes Tinnitus?

There are many risk factors that can be associated tinnitus, such as -

  • Ear disorders (like Meniere’s disease) - in such a case get an immediate treatment of hearing loss

  • Neurological conditions

  • Psychological conditions (such as, anxiety and depression)

  • Head/neck injuries or disorders

  • Ototoxic drugs or medications that are harmful for the ear

  • Other conditions, like - hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus, hormonal changes during pregnancy, etc.)


What Should I Do?

If you face any ringing or other tinnitus sounds, do not wait for it to go by itself! Consult a certified and well-trained Audiologist immediately - he or she will study your medical conditions (both past and present), and will first identify the cause of your tinnitus problems. If you are facing tinnitus due to hearing problems, then your Audiologist will proceed towards giving you a proper treatment of hearing loss.

Don’t make compromises and think that you will be habituated with ringing sounds. Don’t neglect it, as it might not only affect your hearing health, but can also invite other problems like physical, psychological and social complexities. Going through a methodical and systematic treatment of hearing loss along with other auditory stimulation - like music therapy, cochlear implant, and individualised sound stimulation, such as Auditory therapy - will reduce your tinnitus problems.

To know more about the Preventive Measures for Tinnitus, read our blog on: How to Beat Tinnitus?

Comments | Posted in Treatment Of Hearing Loss By Phalguni Bannerjee

Importance of Auditory Training in Adults

Thursday, August 23, 2018 2:43:42 PM Asia/Calcutta

You might have come across or heard about auditory training programmes and other early intervention programmes designed for children, to aid them learn speech and language skills. But did you ever realise that auditory training for adults, especially the senior citizens is equally important and should be performed along with hearing aids - to have better outcomes. In 90% of the cases, auditory training as a part of a proper hearing loss treatment programme, has proved to be beneficial!

Auditory Training

What is Auditory Training?

According to Schow & Nerbonne study done in 2007, Auditory Training can be defined as an intervention in which listeners are taught to make perceptual distinctions between various sounds. These sounds - which are from various sources - are presented to the listeners systematically. The main focus of auditory training is on improving listening and communication skills of hearing aid users - because the world of sounds with hearing aid devices is relatively ‘new’ for them!


Incidence and Prevalence of Hearing Loss in Adults

However, the saddest part is, although about 90% of the world’s total hearing impaired population are adults, and according to WHO, approximately one-third of persons over 65 years are affected by disabling hearing loss. Yet about 75% people do not wear hearing aids! They fail to realise the importance and the urgency of getting a proper hearing loss treatment, and do not understand the necessity of opting for good hearing aids at the earliest!


Why do I Need an Auditory Training?

Because only wearing a hearing aid won’t help! After wearing a hearing aid you might feel that though you can hear various sounds, you are, however, unable to understand them. You might even fail to understand the meaning of what others or even you yourself are saying! This situation becomes more adverse if you opt for a proper hearing loss treatment after living many years with hearing loss. To overcome this situation, you need to participate in a post-fitting auditory training to aid you in proper hearing and understanding - so as to achieve the maximum benefit.


How is Hearing and Understanding Different?

Wearing hearing aids might help you to hear the sounds better which you were unable to before opting for them (or some other hearing loss treatment like cochlear implant)! But you might be confused at first which sound is associated with which object or phenomenon - even though the sound might be quite a common one. Besides, you might also face difficulties in understanding what other people are trying to convey - although you might be able to hear them quite well. Now why does this happen? We actually listen rather than hear! Listening involves understanding - and it occurs in the brain. The brain processes the sound signals received via the auditory nerve, and translates them into meaningful signals - and this is the time when we can actually listen!


What are the Benefits of Auditory Training?

Research studies have proved auditory training programmes for adults to be effective and beneficial enough for adults - including the older population with hearing aids (or other such hearing loss treatment like cochlear implants). Some undoubted benefits of auditory training sessions clubbed with hearing aids (or cochlear implant) include -

  • Auditory training involves actively listening to common sounds such as tones, parts of words or basic units called phonemes, or even whole words or phrases over a long period of time. This improves the person’s ability to pronounce, utter, process sounds, and say words, phrases and whole sentences with ease.

  • This method of hearing loss treatment also improves and strengthens listening, understanding and communication skills of the person.

  • Studies have proved that auditory training improves attention and cognitive abilities which support our listening skills.

  • After the training, participants have shown greater motivation and an increased interest in trying to improve their hearing and their overall health - which they previously lacked, and as a result have been neglecting their hearing health.

  • The programme is interactive and engaging enough to make people feel the need for living a better life with good hearing health through a proper participation in a hearing loss treatment programme.

  • The modern auditory training programmes are computer-based that can be easily adapted by adults and elder people, hence giving fruitful and productive outcomes.


So when are you opting for today’s advanced and updated hearing aids, along with a proper auditory training programme - being a part of an effective hearing loss treatment?

Pretending to Hear Won’t Help Anymore!

Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:10:48 PM Asia/Calcutta

Are you sure that you really are able to hear? Don’t be confused! Make sure that you are able to hear clearly! “Well, of course I can!”, might be the immediate statement that runs in your mind! We understand that you are reluctant to go for a treatment of hearing loss because you feel that you can hear, so why not just make yourselves doubly sure?

 Pretending to Hear

How do I Know Whether I have Hearing Loss?

Try answering the following questions, to check whether you or your loved one is fully able to hear -

  • Are you often straining to understand what others are saying?

  • Are you unable to follow every group conversation that’s going on?

  • Did you fail to laugh at jokes when everyone else is, because you missed all the fun?

  • Are you unable to participate and fully give yourself in debates?

  • Are you even able to follow one-to-one conversations in a quiet room?

  • As a result of that, are you often relying on lip reading because you cannot understand what’s being said?

  • You feel that people are mumbling!

  • You often ask others to repeat themselves!

  • Are you often ignoring phone calls because you are unable to follow?

  • You cannot hear the doorbell or the telephone ring?

  • Are you frequently turning up the volume of your TV or radio more than the normal one?

  • Do you face difficulties in understanding speech while sitting at a restaurant or while at concerts or parties?

  • Do you experience ringing sounds in your ears quite often, especially if you are in a quieter place?

  • Are you missing the natural environmental sounds recently like the chirping of the birds, the rustling of the leaves, the pitter-pattering of the rain, etc.?


If you answered ‘Yes’ to most of the questions above, then you probably have a hearing loss! YES! And you shouldn’t deny that anymore! It’s high time that you must opt for a good treatment of hearing loss.


What will Happen If I Don’t Get a Treatment of Hearing Loss?

You might think that you are okay with an untreated hearing loss, but it is really not so! There are so many complications you will have to face with having to live with a hearing impairment! Social isolation, relationship problems, reduced productivity at work or in studies, misunderstanding with family members and friends - and the LIST IS ENDLESS!

If you continue to pretend that you are able to hear well - these are the consequences that awaits you -

  • Social Consequences

    • The speaker might feel disappointed and even insult you if you fail to answer him/her appropriately!

    • The speaker might feel that he/she is not given attention to!

    • The speaker might feel deceived!

    • If you don’t opt for a treatment of hearing loss, you might want to avoid attending social gatherings and box yourself up in your room, because you cannot follow what’s going on and what’s being said!

    • You might find yourself avoiding calls because you cannot follow the person on the other side!

    • You might unknowingly agree to things which you were otherwise not willing to do!

    • All of the above might lead to a relationship gap, and as a result, your friends or family members might even lose that trust and faith in you!


  • Emotional Consequences

    • If social conditions go on this way for days, and you still do not care to start a good treatment of hearing loss immediately, you might notice that you are gradually getting depressed and frustrated more often than not!

    • You might even notice gradual signs of memory loss, or forgetfulness. This can be a sign of Dementia! This calls for help and a proper treatment of hearing loss immediately!

    • You might get too anxious, or even angry about small issues!

    • You might feel a strong sense of guilt and shame, because you are continuously deceiving your loved ones - and this might destroy your peace of mind!

    • You might feel yourself isolated and boxed up, because you are continuously having to pretend listening!


  • Cognitive Consequences

    • When you are continuously pretending to hear people, a tremendous pressure is created in your brain - which is continuously trying to fill in the gaps in the conversation that you missed! This fatigues the brain and loses its energy!

    • This will result in your brain to compensate for the missed links - which, over time, will form bizarre meanings out of these haphazard links!

So the only solution for all of these problems is to get your EARS CHECKED IN TIME, by consulting a certified Audiologist, and to start a TREATMENT OF HEARING LOSS as early as possible! Delaying will only aggravate these problems!

Comments | Posted in Treatment Of Hearing Loss By Phalguni Bannerjee
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