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Deaf Seniors Find Happiness With Cochlear Implants

The deaf community has come a long way with the help of cochlear implants. These devices allow electrodes to be implanted in the cochlear, which is located in the inner ear, allowing those who are drastically hearing impaired to hear clearly once again. The manner in which cochlear listeners hear has been described as being somewhat mechanical, but the technology helps those who could hear nothing, hear once again, or hear for the first time. The National Library of Medicine explains: “A cochlear implant is a small device that helps provide a sense of sound to people who are deaf or have significant hearing loss, according to the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.”

Now, a recent study has shown that not only are cochlear implants and processors helping the world to hear again, but those in the deaf community who are seniors are also benefiting from these devices on an emotional level as well. The study has determined that participants who received cochlear implants were happier than before they could hear. This ties in with various other studies with have been seeking answers to whether or not sounds and music can affect learning and other cognitive abilities.

Checking The Facts

Dr. Ian Storper, who is recognized at Lenox Hill Hospital in the city of New York, New York is an expert on cochlear processors, and he helped research the latest trials which were funded by the makers of cochlear implants. During these tests, 94 patients aged 65 and up were monitored before, during and after a cochlear implant has been inserted and used. They checked with them at six and twelve months following the surgery and found that gaining hearing again improved the moods of the patients, and also may have improved their ability to think. News Max states the following suggests: “Thinking skills, social interactions and quality of life may improve for older people with hearing loss when hearing is restored with a cochlear implant, according to a study from France.”

This has drastically changed the view that many medical professionals hold over whether or not the surgical implantation of a cochlear device in an elderly patient would have as a significant effect as it would on a younger patient.

Scoring High On The Charts

Throughout the latest trials, researchers found that scores of implant patients varied slightly, but showed positive cognitive scores, even for those who showed low scores before the surgery took place. For those with the lowest scores, it sometimes took a year after implantation to see improvement, but the results were conclusive. Web MD writes: “Six months after the participants received their cochlear implants, there were also improvements in their average scores in all areas of thinking (cognitive) abilities. More than 80 percent of those with the lowest cognitive scores before receiving a cochlear implant showed improvement one year after implantation.”

Following up with this research, scientists may be able to find similarities in studies with children, teens, and younger adults. This could change the way that many people view the deaf community and the changes that cochlear devices make in the lives of those who wear them. This also leads into further tests regarding how sound can change cognitive activity and memory, rather than just the way that music and sound enhances moods.

The Future of Cochlear

Cochlear implants have come a long way in the last few decades allowing people to swim with them, play sports with them, and perform a multitude of activities all while wearing cochlear implants. In the past these types of activities may have been difficult to accomplish as the devices were much larger, and required large packs to be worn in order to control sound and volume.

These implants are being offered to people of all ages and backgrounds, and have significantly improved the lives of wearers around the world. The models are constantly changing and evolving to adapt to new settings and lifestyles, allowing those who wear them to participate in more activities that may not have been possible before. The world of cochlear offers a bright new tomorrow to not only those who wear them, but to their family, friends, and colleagues as well, as eyes are opened and more is learned about how these devices can help.

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