Cochlear Implant Controversy

Being deaf is traditionally defined as an inability to hear. For many people, being deaf is considered to be quite challenging, and in fact, is even classified as a disability. For others—especially those who were born without the ability to hear—it is just another type of existence. Individuals who struggle with being deaf may choose to undergo life-altering medical procedures, which may be effective at restoring sound perception. Most people who are part of the deaf culture, however, consider treatments designed to reverse deafness, such as cochlear implant surgery, to be quite unacceptable. Individuals who are unsatisfied with their current lifestyle should make a decision on their own personal preferences, and not those of the deaf community.

What is a Cochlear Implant?

So what is a cochlear implant? Well, as suggested by the name, a cochlear implant is an electronic device that is surgically implanted into one or both ears of an individual who is totally deaf or hard of hearing. Recently, cochlear implants have begun being referred to as “bionic ears,” especially among members of the deaf community. Some research suggests that there are currently around 200,000 people around the world who have received at least one cochlear implant. By far, the majority of people who have undergone this procedure live in developed countries, such as the United States, Canada, or countries in Western Europe. The intricate surgery and high device cost mean that they are currently not available in all parts of the world. Individuals who have further questions or want a more thorough definition of what is a cochlear implant may want to consider consultation with a medical professional for further assistance.

Benefits of a Cochlear Implant

As mentioned previously, cochlear implants are designed to restore hearing to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Cochlear implant surgery works by replacing sensory hair cells in the cochlea that have been damaged or destroyed. While the quality of the sound provided by cochlear implant surgery may vary from that of normal sound, it is still considered to be a staggering improvement. Individuals who have received a cochlear implant are encouraged to participate in the activities that were done before the procedure, such as jogging, biking, and even swimming.

Cochlear Implant Controversy

Unfortunately, cochlear implants are not embraced by all members of society. The cochlear implant controversy is especially heated among individuals of the deaf community, who often believe that individuals who undergo this procedure are embarrassed or ashamed of their condition. The stance against the use of cochlear implants is strongest among individuals of the deaf community who were born without the ability to hear, though some individuals who lost their sense gradually may also be offended by the notion. Individuals who are interested in learning more about the cochlear implant controversy should be sure to evaluate both sides of the issue to gain a complete understanding.

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