I found this very interesting from a friend..
Myth People with Cochlear Implants are only able to distinguish environmental noises, not comprehend speech.
Reality How much benefit people get from a Cochlear Implant varies and is dependent on a number of things (See the National Institute of Health's Consensus Statement on Cochlear Implants.) Some get little more than an improved awareness of environmental sound. Some are able to comprehend speech without lip-reading. Some fall somewhere between the two. My son does comprehend speech without speech-reading.
Myth After someone gets a Cochlear Implant, they're immediately able to hear normally and talk on the phone.
Reality Results are not immediate, and as mentioned above, varied. It takes time for the brain to learn to understand and process these new sounds, some of which may not have ever been heard before.
Myth Cochlear Implants fix or cure deafness.
Reality Cochlear Implants do not cure or fix deafness. They provide an improved perception of sound, but anybody with a Cochlear implant, no matter how much they benefit from it, will tell you that they are not "cured" or "fixed". When the speech processor is turned off, there is no sound.
Myth Cochlear Implants weaken the skull so if someone with a Cochlear Implant gets hit in the head, they will fracture their skull.
Reality People who have Cochlear Implants are cautioned against contact sports because there is some worry that a blow to the head may damage the housing of the internal portion of the cochlear implant, but not because of the possibility of a skull fracture. A slight depression is made in the mastoid for the housing of the internal device to sit into, but this does not weaken the skull. This portion of the skull is very thick and I have heard of no instances, nor do I know of any instances where a blow to the skull has resulted in a skull fracture due to that person having received an implant.
I would also like to mention in reference to the possibility of damage to the housing of the internal portion of a Cochlear Implant, the materials used are very strong and this risk is very slight. Wearing a helmet for contact sports, whether or not the person has a Cochlear Implant, is the smart thing to do.
Myth The electrodes in a Cochlear Implant go into the brain.
Reality The electrodes go into the Cochlea (Inner Ear), not the brain. At no time is the brain uncovered, exposed, touched, or probed.
Myth The cord for the Cochlear Implant comes out of the neck.
Reality No cords come out of the neck, or any other part of the body. The internal portion of the Cochlear Implant is completely separate from the external portion. The information from the external portion is passed through the skin to the inner portion via radio waves. (See the National Institute of Health's Consensus Statement on Cochlear Implants.)
Myth People with Cochlear Implants can't go swimming.
Reality People with Cochlear Implants can go swimming, but first they must remove the headset and speech processor. I feel this myth probably started because of a caution against deep sea diving due to the high pressures involved. Just how deep can a person go? What do the manufacturers have to say about recreational scuba diving?
Cochlear Corp.- "Recreational scuba diving will not harm the implant. The Nucleus implant has been validated to withstand static pressures in excess of 4 atm and therefore recreational scuba diving to a depth of 30 meters will not harm the implant itself. Care should be taken that headgear or face mask straps do not damage the site of the implant. Recipients should consult their doctor to confirm there is no vestibular impairment. If anyone has additional questions about this, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Advanced Bionics - "Based upon pressure testing conducted in a simulated environment (hyberbaric chamber), the 1.2 Internal Cochlear Stimulator (ICS) of the CLARIONŽ cochlear implant system may be subjected to depths of 4 Atmospheres (ATM) absolute (@99ft below surface). These test results apply only to patients implanted after January 1, 1997. These tests were conducted by subjecting a number of ICS units without attached electrode to 10 cycles in this simulated environment. The rate of ascent/descent was 1ft/sec. following US Navy Diving Tables for uncompressed dives. Full electrical and hermeticity testing was performed before and after this testing. This testing is not an endorsement of scuba diving per se for recipients of the CLARIONŽ Cochlear Implant System as there may be other medical factors that would preclude the patient from participating in this activity. Patients wishing to scuba dive should consult with their physician before engaging in this activity. The long-term effects of repeated pressure cycling on the ICS are unknown."
Myth Cochlear implants are disfiguring.
Reality While the size, shape, and location of scars from Cochlear Implant surgery can vary, they are certainly not disfiguring. The housing for the internal portion my sometimes cause a small bump, but I would hardly call it disfiguring either. My son's scar is hardly noticeable and the top of the housing sits flush with the surface of the mastoid bone. You can barely feel it if you run your hand along the top of where the device sits.
Myth People with cochlear implants don't have to worry about a reduced ability to hear when they have an ear infection.
Reality Many users, audiologists, and surgeons report that when there is a condition that causes fluid in the middle ear, it does affect the cochlear implant. Almost every cochlear implant center has met with at least one patient who this happens to - my own son is one such patient. The fact is, nobody knows why this happens, only that it does.
Care to discuss?