Archive for myths

Myth # 1 – “Cochlear Implants Connect to the Brain”

Drawing of Cochlear ImplantThis one is easy to figure out!

The myth originates from just about anyone seeing a cochlear implant on a user’s head for the first time. Immediately, the assumption is that the coil and the wires leading up to it are transferring signals directly into the brain.

Of course, the cochlear implant (both the internal or external components) itself is not attached at all to the brain, as is illustrated in this drawing from the National Institute of Health. However, come to think about it, ordinary hearing is actually accomplished by “wires” (nerves) transferring “signals” (physioelectrical impulses) to the brain.

So it turns out that cochlear implants aren’t much different after all.

 Cochlear Implant Myths – Learn the true facts and how to properly educate people about them

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Myth # 2 – “Cochlear Implants Cure Deafness”

When Cochlear Implants first became available, there was this widespread belief that a “cure for deafness” has been found. The myth that is still very popular to this day, is that once a person receives an implant, they are no longer deaf.

A warning posted on the National Association for the Deaf website warns that “cochlear implants are not a cure for deafness.”

Of course, parents of children with cochlear implants know very well that even with a cochlear implant, their child is still very much deaf. Swimming, bathing, school, and even conversations in noisy places are all still very challenging for them. Cochlear implants do provide a tremendous opportunity for the deaf to communicate with general society, and it is only with lots of hard work, patience, and perseverance that they are able to do so.

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Myth # 3 – “Cochlear Implants are Experimental”

Many naysayers really believe that to actually take a deaf person and implant him/her with a device that enables them to hear is just too wacky to believe…………and therefore it must be experimental.

This myth may just come from the fact that it may seem too good to be true, and people would compare it to wrinkle and hair loss treatments. But fact of the matter is, the implant has been FDA approved in children since 1990! Many other medical devices are around for a lot less than that and are already well-accepted into society.

It is because of myths like these and others that the rate of cochlear implantation in the U.S. is so low relative to the deaf population.

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Myth # 4 – “Hair Cell Regeneration”

This myth is gaining in popularity very quickly. We have found that many friends and family members – who had no idea what a cochlear implant was before our daughter got hers – have suddenly become the world’s foremost experts on hearing loss! 🙂

Everyone is suddenly worried that by getting a cochlear implant – your child will be missing out on the upcoming technology that can restore hearing to the damaged hair cells.

This is of course, a ridiculous myth. Although some day science may discover a way to regenerate hair cells in humans, it will be years before this technology is approved for safe use in children. Take a look at the cochlear implant, it was first approved for use in children in 1990, while the first implant was available almost 10 years before then.

Since the approval process takes so long, and we don’t even know where science is holding in this matter, to hold back from implanting your child – and denying their formative years of hearing and language, for the pipe dream of receiving the benefit of hair cell regeneration, is just a plain dumb idea.

Giving your child an implant (or two!) is granting them a gift of life. Do it for them, and do it right away.

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Myth # 5 – “Kids With Implants Can’t Sing”

We all have some friends and/or acquaintances, who seem to have very misguided beliefs about cochlear implants and how they work. There is an exhaustive list of myths on Deafbase and on Listen Up.

Sometimes we are horrified by their impressions, other times we just laugh.

We have a list of some of the most-common myths that we’ve come across over the past 5 years. Musical Notes

Here is one famous one:

“People with cochlear implants can’t carry a tune”

🙂 This is one of the funny ones. Now, granted, it is somewhat difficult for those with hearing loss to capture all the nuances of music and singing, this statement as a whole is most definitely not true.

Our 5 year old daughter who is now in Kindergarten, sings her class songs beautifully. (Of course she doesn’t catch all the words, but neither does any other girl in her class. We’ve found that because of her many therapy sessions, she is extra particular to try and learn all the words of the songs properly.)

There are times that the songs are somewhat off tune, but with a MAP, that can be corrected.

Please share with us the myths and misconceptions you’ve encountered when acquaintances meet you with your child.

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