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Global Survey Reveals Cochlear Implant Users Face Mounting Costs And Inconsistent Support

The Cochlear Implant International Community of Action (CIICA) and York University, Toronto, conducted a ground-breaking survey that reveals the severe financial pressures cochlear implant (CI) users experience worldwide. Over half, or a notable 54%, of CI users grapple with out-of-pocket costs for essential items such as batteries, replacement parts, and repairs.

Moreover, the survey brought to light the disparities in post-surgery care. A concerning 27% of those surveyed stated they received no rehabilitation following their operation, and an even more alarming 32% felt that the support they received was lacking.

Lee Schoushkoff, CEO of the Pindrop Foundation/NCIT and board member of CIICA, highlighted the pressing need for changes. "While the life-altering impact of cochlear implants is clear, these figures stress the essential call for reform in the way support and services are delivered, especially with hearing loss costing a staggering US$980 billion a year to the world economy."

As a testament to the effectiveness of CI, the survey did note a strong 96% satisfaction rate among CI users. Nikki Moloney, a CI user from Tauranga, remarked, Returning to the world of sound is a priceless gift; it's changed my life immeasurably. I started a new job, can go to the movies with friends and hear, and enjoy conversations with my husband and sons."

Michel Neeff, a CI surgeon in Auckland, stressed the importance of consistent post-operative care. It's crucial that we prevent lapses in ongoing support from overshadowing the tremendous benefits of cochlear implants. For CI users, their independence and quality of life hinge on it,” Neeff noted.

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The in-depth report makes a number of important suggestions, such as giving people who have had surgery immediate access to rehabilitation, providing consistent technological assistance, and creating funding structures that support long-term service sustainability for CI users.

Leo De Raeve, Chair of CIICA, encapsulates the report's significance: "Cochlear implants aren't just about restoring hearing; they're about restoring lives. We must stand committed to supporting every CI user today and in the future.

The Pindrop Foundation, an Aotearoa New Zealand charity and a foundational member of CIICA, tirelessly advocates for CI awareness and education.

To delve into the full report's details and insights, click here:

Notes to Editors:

• This study, involving 1076 participants from 40 countries, spotlights the undeniable impact of cochlear implants. However, the pressing need for continuous services is evident.

• Hearing loss profoundly affects multiple facets of an individual's life, with the global cost of unmanaged hearing loss estimated at a staggering US$980 billion annually.

• Research has shown that cochlear implantation is a cost-effective and life-changing solution for adults affected by serious hearing loss.

• CIICA, an international consortium of CI user groups, families, and professionals who champion the cause of increasing accessibility to cochlear implantation and supporting the development of sustainable CI services.

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