The world is full of resplendent sounds to explore and experience! Our ability to hear is significant in everyday life as it enables us to communicate with people around us and develop understanding and intelligence. But there are people out there who lose their hearing fully or partially and it refrains them from relishing the wonders of an important human sense. For some such less fortunate people, cochlear implant comes as a one-stop solution.

What is Cochlear Implant?

Cochlear implant is a device, designed with a very specific goal to deliver speech recognition and sound detection to people who receive no or very less hearing flair from hearing aid. This device is implanted into the ears of the patient by the cochlear implant surgeons. Following are the three chief parts of the implant:

  • Sound processor for receiving sound from the environment and altering it into digital signals
  • Coil for receiving digital signals from the processor with the inner implant
  • Electrode array or a group of electrodes gathers the impulses from the stimulator and directs them to diverse regions of cochlear or the auditory nerve

Who needs Cochlear Implant?

Cochlear implant is recommended to patients who have lost their ability to hear fully or partially. For many adults and children, suffering severe hearing loss, a hearing aid sometimes is not enough to let the ears process sound. In such cases, stimulating the hearing nerve directly is required, for which, a cochlear implant is proven to be more successful and effective.

Benefits of Cochlear Implant Surgery

The major benefits of getting a cochlear implant are:

Better Sentence understanding

It is absolutely evident from the results that the people with a cochlear implant can understand sentences eighty percent better on an average. However, hearing aids promise sentence understanding of only up to ten percent.

Improved communication

Communication is one of the most important things in one’s personal and professional life today. With the help of a cochlear implant, the person gains ample confidence to communicate and interact freely.

Feeling of enhanced focus and security

When a person cannot hear properly, he or she faces a disconnect with the outside world but with a cochlear implant, that person is able to feel more associated with the groups, which make him or her feel more focussed and safe.

The above-mentioned benefits may differ from person to person, depending upon the diagnosis time of hearing loss and the stage when the implant was induced. Another important factor responsible for determining the effectiveness of cochlear implant is the patient’s flexibility to adjust and accept the use of cochlear implant system in his or her everyday life.

Cochlear Implant Surgery in India

The cost of cochlear implant surgery can be very expensive in different parts of the world but in India, world class facilities at renowned hospitals can be availed at surprisingly lower prices. A large number of medical tourists who require a cochlear implant are thus preferring India for the surgery, all thanks to the ampleness of competent hospitals with prominent doctors, who promise a quality treatment at affordable charges.

Cost of Cochlear implant surgery in India

Cochlear implant cost in India has been brought down to a sum of INR 4,00,000 (USD 6300), which was INR 11,50,000 (USD 17200) earlier. This has happened as a result of several recent medical advancements and discoveries. Also, the Government of India has been playing an instrumental role in minimizing the cost of ear implants and other hearing aids for helping people suffering from critical hearing loss and transforming their lives forever. On the other hand, this cost ranges up to four to five times more in many other countries. For instance, in the US, a cochlear implant surgery costs around INR 64,000,00 (USD 1,00,000).

Considering this huge gap between the costs of cochlear implant surgery, several patients from other countries are travelling to India today for this treatment, without compromising on the quality and safety of their health. Patients have reported back with their sensational success stories with a big saving on their budget as this treatment is available at almost sixty to seventy percent lower price in the country as compared to many other countries like the US, UK, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Oman, Iraq and Bangladesh.

What is the process for getting a cochlear implant?

When a regular audiologist or ENT physician considers a patient fit for a cochlear implant, he or she is referred to a cochlear implant centre. Here, the patient undergoes a medical exam, audiological and psychological tests, and imaging studies to determine if he or she will benefit from a cochlear implant. The patient is also given a brief counselling session regarding the performance and limitations of a cochlear device. If considered a viable candidate, the patient undergoes the implantation surgery under general anaesthesia.