Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

If you or a loved one live with deafness or other hearing disorders, you may be looking for ways to mitigate your impairment. Cochlear implants and electronic hearing devices in Long Island, NY are some of the most common ways that people work with their hearing disability. With the proliferation of technology today, these devices are becoming more sophisticated than ever. Read on to learn more about the options available to you.

Cochlear implants

Cochlear implants work differently than traditional hearing aids, which simply amplify sound. They include a surgically-implanted piece under the skin, and an external piece behind the ear. The implant uses a microphone and sound processor to pick up sound from the environment. The speech processor recognizes which sounds are “important,” then sends them to the transmitter. The transmitter receives the signals, then stimulates the auditory nerve to reproduce those sounds. In other words, instead of amplifying sound, the implants recreate it inside your head.

When a person gets a cochlear implant, there’s a certain amount of time they must take to relearn how to recognize speech and other sounds. Even though the implants stimulate the nerve—and the brain recognizes it as sound—it’s not the same as actually hearing noise in your immediate environment. However, it is an incredible development for people with severe or complete hearing loss.

To qualify for a cochlear implant, you must be deaf or severely hard of hearing. Meeting with doctors and audiologists can help you understand the extent of your hearing loss, and whether you’d be a good candidate for the implants. Children, especially, are encouraged to try cochlear implants. The younger they are, the more likely they’ll be able to properly develop their speech and language skills. Of course, adults who have lost their hearing later in life are also in a good position to remember old sounds and relearn them. Most people who get cochlear implants do not need to use visual cues like sign language to help them understand speech.

Electronic hearing devices

If you don’t qualify for cochlear implants, there are plenty of other electronic hearing devices available in Long Island, NY. Hearing aids come in a number of different varieties, ranging in everything from style to capabilities. Generally, you can get hearing aids in behind-the-ear, in-ear, on-the-ear and in-the-canal varieties, depending on your specific hearing and comfort needs.

You’ll also have a choice of digital or analog hearing aids. If you’re an avid technology user, you might want to opt for digital: many companies now make Bluetooth-enabled devices that can sync to your phone, television and other devices for a seamless media experience.

Most hearing aids also come with features that block background noise, suppress feedback and allow you to switch “modes” for in-person or telephone conversations. Working with an audiologist can help you decide which features and styles are most important.

If you’re interested in learning more about electronic hearing devices and cochlear implants in Long Island, NY, McGuire’s Hearing Centers can help. Call us today to schedule an appointment.