What’s the biggest perk for you, living in the 21st century? For us, it is access to biomedical solutions which our forefathers could only have dreamed about in their times. This is an era of tremendous progress, hardly any field is exempt from the mind-blowing progress. And when we put the progress made in the healthcare world under a microscope, the staggering impact of this progress on our lives is elucidated further in an astonishingly clear manner. Take the example of cochlear implants, a solution that gives hope to everyone who is past the stage where hearing aids are helpful. This discussion is going to be a comprehensive brief on cochlear implants, with the major focus on the procedure and the costs associated with the process. Oh, and there is an inspirational angle to this article as well!
What is a cochlear implant?
But first, let us start with the basics so that things are equally understandable for pros and novices. A cochlear implant refers to the implantation of an electronic device that restores hearing partially. An implant of such nature is an ideal choice for any patient suffering from inner-ear damage, and as we said earlier, is past the stage where he or she can be helped by hearing aids. Some of you might be wondering about the difference between the two approaches to restore hearing. Well here is the difference. While hearing aids amplify the sound, cochlear implants aim at improving the delivery of sound signals to the auditory never. This is achieved by bypassing the damaged portions of the ear.
What happens during a cochlear implant?
In this section of the discussion, we are going to recap the events of a cochlear implant. An act necessary to better understand the procedure! Well, the first thing that any patient should know about cochlear implants is that these are conducted under general anesthesia. Hence, getting the fear of anesthesia out of your system is extremely crucial. Coming towards the events of surgery, the first step is that of an incision. An incision big enough to create a small hole is made, sot that a niche for the internal device is created. In the next step, a cochlear opening is created for threading the internal device’s electrode. Finally, the incision is stitched and the device is implanted successfully beneath your skin. How is the device activated? We know many of you have been dying to ask that question since the beginning of this discussion. Well, it is fairly simple. It is the job of an audiologist to set the device and adjust the sound pressures post a cochlear implant surgery. The biggest challenge post a cochlear implant is that of rehabilitation. The patient’s brain needs a fair bit of training before it becomes accustomed to processing sounds being heard via a cochlear implant device.
Results of cochlear implant surgery
Even though the answer to this question is rather subjective, certain outcomes are predictable anyways. For example, a cochlear implant can lead to a much improved overall hearing ability, which is also the primary goal more often than not. In certain cases, a cochlear implant can also help in-ear noise reduction, a condition known as tinnitus. A plus point of cochlear implants is that the best results of such surgeries are associated with a shorter period.
Cochlear implant cost
Let us state the bitter truth without sugar-coating it in fancy words. Cochlear implants are very, very expensive. If you belong to a middle-class or underprivileged section of society, your chances of unmuting the world are quite bleak. It costs more than a couple of millions of PKR to have a cochlear implant surgery, which is the general estimate anyways. For some, it is the sort of money that they will never see in their life probably. And the numbers only increase from there onwards. Depending upon different metrics, the cost of a cochlear implant can increase as much as $30,000, in some cases, it even touches the 50K mark as well.
It is believed that out of every 1000 Pakistani, 7-8 are not blessed with the ability to listen. The percentage of deaf individuals in the population is increasing with every year passing. To avoid a scenario where there are utter hopelessness and despair, something needs to be done on a radical basis. Cochlear implant surgeries are one way to fight deafness, but the burden must be shared by both government as well as NGOs. One NGO that has assumed the role of a frontline fighter in this battle against deafness is Transparent Hands.
Want to fund one? Partner with Transparent Hands!
Transparent Hands is the largest technological platform for crowdfunding in the healthcare sector of Pakistan. It offers a complete range of free healthcare services including medical and surgical treatments, medical camps, and telehealth facilities to the underprivileged community of Pakistan. Donors from all over the world can use the Transparent Hands crowdfunding web portal and donate through 100% secure payment modes. They could select any patient, fund the treatment, and receive regular feedback and updates until the patient has recovered completely. Cochlear implants are common at Transparent Hands and because of this organization, many deaf individuals can finally hear the noise of this busy world, once more! If you feel like donating to a healthcare NGO that provides financial assistance to underprivileged deaf patients, look no further than Transparent Hands!
That would be all from this discussion. While there is no doubt on the effectiveness of the procedure, the fact that it is well out of reach of many cannot be denied either. If it was not for organizations like Transparent Hands which are continuously playing their part in improving the hearing disability profile of the country, things would have been quite horrifying. More and more patients can appreciate the sounds of this world, thanks to Transparent Hands! With a promise that the good work will continue in the future as well, we bid you farewell from this discussion!