Can You Use a Hearing Aid with a Cochlear Implant?
For those who have severe hearing loss or even deafness, a cochlear implant may be helpful. This implant is a small electronic device that bypasses the hearing process by using electric signals to directly stimulate the auditory nerve. Many hearing care specialists recommend pairing cochlear implants with traditional hearing aids as they provide many useful benefits when used in unison to treat hearing loss.
More Natural Sounds
Users who had a cochlear implant and paired it with a traditional hearing aid in their non-implanted ear reported hearing more natural sounds. Those who solely had the implant reported that noise, like music and speech, sound unnatural. It's been discovered that pitch information and fine-grained spectral are not efficient with just the cochlear implant in use.
Increased Brain Activity
It's important to think of your body's auditory system as similar to its musculoskeletal system. When you don't use your muscles, you lose them. The same thing holds true for your auditory system. Those who continue to go without receiving the full spectrum of sounds because of their hearing loss will have components of their auditory system shrink. When a hearing aid is positioned in the non-implant ear, it keeps the auditory pathways stimulated. This means that they essentially are worked out and don't shrink due to disuse.
Feeling More Balanced
When an individual gets a cochlear implant to assist with hearing loss, it's typically done in just one ear. This can leave a person feeling unbalanced when it comes to hearing as they're only experiencing noises on one side of their body. Hearing aid in the non-implant ear can allow the user to feel more balanced between their ears. This binaural hearing allows a person to be more effective with their hearing. For example, they can better locate the sound source when they hear with both ears as opposed to just one ear. This is because the user can compare the arrival time of the sounds to both ears.
Call Us Today
If you have a cochlear implant, you should consider getting a hearing aid for your non-implant ear. As you've learned, the addition of a hearing aid can stimulate brain activity and allow for more natural sounds. Contact a hearing specialist at Beltone South. They can assess your hearing needs and recommend the right hearing aid to meet your needs.