Cochlear Implant vs. Hearing Aids: What's the Difference?

woman with cochlear implant


In what situation would you need a cochlear implant vs. hearing aids?

While both hearing aids and cochlear implants are used to help people hear more clearly, they are actually very different. Cochlear implants, which require surgery, are used in situations where the person has very severe hearing loss or is profoundly deaf.

Hearing aids, on the other hand, are appropriate for people with less severe forms of hearing loss, including mild to moderate hearing loss, and do not require a surgical procedure. Therefore, they are far more popular and widely used. 

What’s the Difference in How They Work?

Hearing aids work by processing and amplifying sound. Many hearing aids include features to reduce background noise and target your hearing on what’s important so that you hear what you want to hear and don’t amplify every surrounding noise.

In comparison, cochlear implants work by directly stimulating the auditory nerve. The auditory nerve sends the signals it receives from the cochlear implant to the brain, and those signals are then interpreted by the brain as sound. 

How Do I Know Which One I Need? 

If you are suffering from hearing loss, the best way to decide what treatment is appropriate is to see a doctor or audiologist. Your doctor or audiologist will perform a hearing test, which can tell you how severe your hearing loss is and what type of hearing loss you have.

If you are not able to see a doctor or audiologist, you can use an Online Hearing Check to help you gauge the severity of your hearing loss. However, a hearing test at a doctor’s office or audiologist’s office will be more accurate in ascertaining what treatment will work best for you.

An online hearing test is not an official diagnosis and should not be regarded as such. 

If I Need a Hearing Aid, Where Do I Start?  

If you decide that hearing aids are appropriate for your level of hearing loss, you can use your hearing test to pick out hearing aids that will help your specific hearing situation. You can buy hearing aids in a brick-and-mortar audiologist’s office, or you can purchase hearing aids online, which is often much, much cheaper.

If you do not have a hearing test to reference, you can still buy hearing aids. If that is the case, you can call us at 1 (800) 804-0434 and we will help you pick out a hearing aid that we believe will work for your level of hearing loss.

All our affordable hearing aids are available for purchase over-the-phone or online, and they are shipped directly to you.  

Will My Hearing Be Restored with Treatment? 

Hearing aids will not restore your hearing, and neither will cochlear implants. Instead, these treatments will help you to hear more clearly.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), about 28.8 million U.S. adults could benefit from wearing hearing aids.

If you are suffering from hearing loss, but you are not certain whether a hearing aid will help you, feel free to reach out to our hearing aid professionals at 1 (800) 804-0434. We will be happy to offer recommendations and assist you in your journey to clearer hearing.  


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