Celebrating International Cochlear Implant Day

February 25th marks International Cochlear Implant Day and World Hearing Day which we are proud to support. Cochlear implants are life-changing technology.

Improving Access to Cochlear Implantation: Making a Sound Investment.

Hearing loss is one of the most challenging health and social issues facing the UK. Being able to communicate defines us and underlies our ability to function in the world: to relate to family, friends and partners, have a job, lead productive lives and maintain our health and wellbeing through social connections. Hearing Loss risks us losing the capacity to do all of these things we take for granted. We can now address hearing loss through world leading technology including hearing aids and cochlear implants but many more people could benefit than currently do.

The number of people who could benefit from cochlear implants in the UK is significant. There are an estimated 100,000 people with a profound hearing loss and 360,000 with a severe hearing loss who might benefit from implantation at any one time. However, recent figures show that at best only a very small proportion of adults (6.7%) with profound hearing loss are implanted (Raine 2016).

Yet the benefits of cochlear implants have been proven now over many years. These include:

  • Cochlear implants have the capacity to make a profound difference to people’s lives, ensuring people can continue to communicate and stay connected at work and socially;
  • Cochlear implants also have a dramatic effect on the ability of the individual to retain or gain employment and therefore further reduce reliance on benefits and increase tax contributions;
  • Cochlear implants are beneficial across the age range in addressing not just the direct impact of hearing loss but also associated health issues such as dementia and mental health;
  • Cochlear Implants help people remain independent for longer saving on social care and other costs;
  • Cochlear implants are cost effective on any current cost benefit measure but current studies of cost-effectiveness are likely to be conservative, as the technology is constantly improving and the cost of devices has reduced. 

For more information, advice or guidance on cochlear implantation please contact http://www.bcig.org.uk/  For more information on the campaign to increase access to Cochlear Implants in England please contact The Action Group on Adult Cochlear Implants, The Ear Foundation. Tel: 0115 942 1985  Email: info@earfoundation.co.uk.