Cochlear Implants or Hearing Aids – Which is better?

What is a Cochlear Implant

A cochlear implant is an electronic device surgically implanted to excite the cochlear nerve responsible for hearing. It is an assembly of two parts: external and internal.


The external component, which is just behind the ear, contains the microphone picking up sound and is processed and signals are sent to the internal component. The internal component is put under the skin at the back of the ear also and done so in an outpatient surgery procedure.


A thin wire accompanied with electrodes are directed to the cochlea which is a part of the inner ear. The cochlear nerve receives the signals and sends these sound information to the brain to produce sense of sound.


Who can have a Cochlear Implant

Any one with hearing loss, from infant to adult, may opt for this especially those that find no comfort with hearing aids. Those relying on lip reading and even those without hearing aids, but unclear sounds are heard may also be considered for this procedure.


A hearing care specialist is to be consulted before taking any steps further. A cochlear implant may not be right for you and a consultation will provide a clear evaluation of your condition that will pave the way to a definite decision.


Cochlear implants may be partially or fully inserted to the nerve depending on the severity of hearing loss. Partial insert is usually for moderate cases which can be combined with hearing aid. Full insertion is preferred for severe cases of hearing loss.


Situations to Know Before Decision

  • After surgery, a regimen of training and rehabilitation is required.
  • Cochlear implants do not restore hearing back to normal.
  • One may lose whatever natural hearing is left.
  • Removal of external part is essential before bathing or swimming.
  • The implant can be damaged in an accident or while playing sports.


Risks of Cochlear Implant

The practice for a cochlear implant is generally safe and a well-tolerated surgical procedure. Depending on your medical condition and like all surgeries, there are still risks that exist but can be prevented. Here are a few:

  • tinnitus (ringing in the ear);
  • infection in the area of implant;
  • swelling;
  • bleeding;
  • implant removal due to infection
  • general anesthesia risk



If you wonder if your kids needs a hearing aid or cochlear implant, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre for consulation. We offer professional hearing test & assessment, and hearing aid prescription.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription

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HK Hearing & Speech Centre
Rm 02, 5/F.,
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