25th February: Celebrating Cochlear Implants

©Cochlear. Staff at Cochlear Europe celebrates International CI Day.

Awareness

25th February is International Cochlear Implant Day and companies, charities, implant centres and implant wearers across the UK celebrate. Hearing care professionals are celebrating how the technology has changed due to the innovations taking place every year and the subsequent impact this is having on the hearing impaired people they work with. The individuals with severe to profound hearing losses who have benefited from cochlear implants were sharing their success stories across a range of media.

Cochlear Europe Ltd and the 21 implant centres in UK and Ireland shared stories of people who have been implanted and describe their cochlear implant as “a gift”, "a miracle" and “life changing".

As well as celebrating those that have had a successful cochlear implant fitting, Cochlear and implant specialists are raising awareness about the availability and success of the technology. About 10,000 people have already benefitted from cochlear implants in the UK; however, fewer than 10% of adults who are severely or profoundly deaf and who would qualify for a cochlear implant on the NHS have one.

“The longer it takes to treat a patient, the more difficult it is for their brain to readjust to recognise sounds unheard for many years”, says Tracey Twomey, head of the Nottingham Auditory Implant Programme. “We know a lot of adults qualify and are not being referred,” she says. “This may be because GPs, Audiologists, Ear, Nose and Throat Consultants or patients are misinformed or lacking information, or patients are simply not wanting to go ahead with an implant. “We want to encourage severe to profoundly deaf patients to come forward for information and assessment if appropriate.”

During the first day of celebration and awareness Cochlear Europe marked how its implants have transformed the lives of thousands of people in the UK. The company has brought together the success stories from recipients as well as the professionals who work with cochlear implantation.

“International Cochlear Implant Day was also celebrated nationally by The Ear Foundation and Action on Hearing Loss, among many other hearing loss charities, who are working together to increase adult awareness and access to the different hearing solutions available on the NHS that can help older adults now and in the years to come,” said Mariska Leighton, Cochlear Marketing Manager UK, Ireland and South Africa.

ENT consultant surgeon, Mr Andrew Marshall, from the Nottingham Auditory Implant Programme, says, “There is a potential for the patient to become isolated and withdrawn because they are missing out on social interaction, and so hearing loss has a significant impact on their quality of life.” “It’s great that industry is coming together to celebrate cochlear implants as there is insufficient awareness of the availability of cochlear implants to treat adults with severe to profound hearing loss, with a clear unmet need in adults in this country.”

Source: Cochlear Europe Ltd

V.A.