Recently emerging advancements in the field of medical technology have offered new hope to those who have historically suffered from profound hearing loss.
Specific hearing implants—including cochlear and/or auditory brainstem implants—have ‘revolutionized’ the overall management of hearing loss and impairment. While these surgically implanted devices do not actually amplify sounds like conventionally created hearing aids, they instead provide users with a sense of sound through direct stimulation of the hearing nerves, or the part of the brain involved with hearing.
The implementation of cochlear implants allows patients to both hear and localize sounds as well as someone with healthy hearing; moreover, recent improvements in the technology include more aesthetic & visually discreet models, in addition to wireless accessories that allow individuals to stream sound inputs from phone clips or television: directly to the sound processors.
These hearing devices can assist hearing-impaired people successfully integrate into society. Moreover, there is a wealth of evidence that suggests the majority of deaf children who receive bilateral cochlear implants before age one can ultimately develop as normally as normal-hearing children.
Studies indicate that early intervention and treatment improves overall outcomes, as hearing objectively plays a critical role in the development of speech, coupled with learning and communication skills. Further research demonstrates that children born with hearing loss who receive late intervention receive lower academic test scores than their peers with normal hearing.
Researchers and physicians both stress the importance of early detection and treatment of hearing loss, which should also be a crucial priority in older adults and eldercare. If a patient has already been diagnosed with dementia and/or depression, hearingimpairment can serve to exacerbate and accelerate those conditions. Furthermore, hearing-impaired individuals are less aware of their surroundings, which leads to safety implications.