Celebrating 45 Years of Life-Changing Technological Advances: World Cochlear Implant Day 2023

Today is World Cochlear Implant Day and MED-EL, a leader in implantable hearing solutions, is celebrating with the millions of people whose lives have been improved by this groundbreaking technology. 45 years ago, the modern cochlear implant was first invented, and since then, an incredible 1 million CIs have been implanted, giving people around the world the gift of hearing. Let’s take this day to recognize the tremendous progress that has been made and the positive impact cochlear implants have had on so many lives.

In the early 1970s, Austrian scientists Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair revolutionized the lives of individuals with sensorineural hearing loss with their invention of the cochlear implant (CI). Fast forward to today and the CI systems of today are nothing like their predecessors. The modern hearing implants are much smaller, worn behind the ear, and feature an innovative technology that enables recipients to hear all sounds, even the subtleties of music. To make life even easier for its users, MED-EL’s RONDO audio processor integrated microphone, processor, coil, and power supply into one small device the size of a coin. It is amazing to see how far cochlear implants have come in the last decade!

The future of cochlear implants is filled with endless possibilities! We’re on the brink of a new era with totally implantable CIs already in clinical trials and AI-integrated features coming to the forefront. It’s an exciting time for those with hearing impairments, with the potential for a better quality of life thanks to these cutting-edge technologies.

Enhanced quality of life

Colleen, a US-based mother, was overjoyed when her son Liam received his hearing implants at a young age. Because of modern technology, her son was given the chance to develop language skills similar to those of a child with normal hearing – something that would have been impossible in the past. Thanks to these implants, Liam is living the life his mother envisioned for him when he was a baby, and his implants do not limit him in any way. Studies have proven that hearing impaired children benefit greatly from early implantation, allowing them to live fuller, more enriched lives.

Adults with hearing loss now have the opportunity to reclaim their quality of life with the help of a cochlear implant. Imagine the possibilities! You can now enjoy a more active social life, strengthened relationships with loved ones, and an overall enhanced quality of life. Don’t let hearing loss keep you from living your best life!

Sharlene, a CI recipient from the Philippines, credits her cochlear implant for helping her achieve amazing accomplishments and fostering strong relationships with her family, friends, and teachers. Without her CI, she believes these successes wouldn’t have been possible.

Despite the fact that almost all cochlear implants for children are reimbursed, a shockingly low percentage of adults who could benefit from a CI actually receive one. On average, only around 10% of those who could benefit from a CI are fortunate enough to obtain one, leaving the vast majority of people with severe to profound hearing loss disadvantaged and without the opportunity to access this life-changing technology.

Addressing hearing loss as early as possible

It’s time to stop ignoring hearing loss, or accepting it as simply a part of ageing! Recent research has uncovered that leaving hearing loss untreated can actually increase the risk of dementia by up to 8%,[5] making it clear that even the slightest trace of hearing loss should not be overlooked. For the sake of our own well-being, as well as for the sake of our loved ones, hearing loss should be taken seriously.

Hearing loss doesn’t have to be a normal part of life or ageing! If you or someone you know is having difficulty hearing, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice as soon as possible. At MED-EL, we believe that early detection and intervention is key to avoiding the long-term effects of hearing loss. So don’t wait—get the help you need today!

About MED-EL

MED-EL Medical Electronics is on a mission to tear down the barriers of hearing loss and open up the world of communication to everyone. Co-founded by Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair, the Austrian-based, privately owned business has come a long way since their breakthrough research which led to the development of the world’s first micro-electronic multi-channel cochlear implant in 1977. Today, with over 2,500 employees from around 80 nations and 30 locations around the world, MED-EL is making waves in the industry and transforming the lives of those suffering from hearing loss.

MED-EL is giving the gift of hearing to people in 137 countries with their wide range of implantable and non-implantable solutions for all types of hearing loss. From cochlear and middle ear implant systems to combined electric acoustic stimulation hearing implants and auditory brainstem implants, to their surgical and non-surgical bone conduction devices, MED-EL is transforming lives and enabling countless individuals to experience the world of sound.

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