Hello! Those are all very important questions.
1) Children and adults with severe to profound hearing loss may benefit from cochlear impalnts, where hearing aids don't help. Unlike hearing aids, which simply make the sound you hear louder, cochlear implants mimic the function of the cochlea, an inner ear structure that turns mechanical sound to electical waves and then transmits the electical signal to the auditory nerve and then to the brain.
2) Whether or not a person is a candidate for cochear implant is dicussed by a team of health professionals, who will help you consider a range of information before deciding that it is right for you. the risks may be individual and need to be discussed by the medical professionals. Receiving a cochlear implant is after all is a surgery and all surgeries have risks.
3) Chidlren and teenagers with hearing loss may miss out on hearing certain conversations, particularly in noisy environments and often have problems with social skills. They may miss out on the nuances and subtleties of social interactions. If you are a person who does need a cochlear implant to hear better, there would be more social benefits for you to have it than not to have it. You would be able to hear better on the phone, in a crowd, at loud concerts, at school and this way your communication and social skills would improve.
4) Whether hearing impaired students see their impairment as a reason to thrive is very individual and would depend on the the past successes and failures and also on the way the student was parented. It's important for parents to have similar expectations from their children with hearing impairment (provided they are supported at home and school) than from their children who have full hearing. This way children will not have a reason for not succeeding.
For more information about cochlear implants you can visit www.cochlear.com.au.
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