Cochlear implant pros and cons are important to consider while weighing hearing amplification options for your child.
Hearing improvement: Cochlear implants can improve hearing and speech perception for your child. People with cochlear implants may still use lip reading and sign language to enhance speech perception and communication.
Speech Development: Cochlear implants help improve the clarity of the child's speech and future development of listening and spoken language skills. Parents can take several steps to
maximize outcomes for children with cochlear implants.
Future learning and career opportunities: Children with cochlear implants can hear better in the classroom, usually with the help of assistive technology. CI's may also benefit children as they age and open doors to new career opportunities.
Safety: One of the most notable benefits of a cochlear implant is the ability to hear potential dangers or alerts such as sirens and other important sounds.
Surgery: As with any surgical procedure, there are
risks and limitations associated with cochlear implant surgery.
Cost: Many insurance companies will assist with the
cost of a cochlear implant and the needed appointments but out of pocket costs may be incurred. If you do not have insurance, or if your plan does not cover the procedure, it may be cost prohibitive.
Background noise: Children will still need support hearing and communication in background noise. Assistive devices can help hearing in places with lots of background noise (classroom, car, zoo, etc)
Maintenance: Cochlear implants require ongoing support and maintenance. This can include monitoring and replacing equipment, changing batteries daily, and following up with programming appointments.
Outcomes and hearing levels differ for everyone: The benefit of a cochlear implant is not immediate, and each child will have varied performance.
Early intervention programs help improve the outcomes for children with cochlear implant devices.
Childhood Activities: Children with cochlear implants can participate in almost all common childhood activities. It is important to utilize waterproof cases or remove the device when the processor could get wet or be submerged under water (i.e., swimming or in the bathtub). Precautions are recommended to protect the device from damage, on plastic slides, playgrounds, and ball pits. It is also recommended that the child use a helmet while bicycling or playing other sports.