Jiya Bavishi's auditory brainstem implant is helping her hear some sounds for the first time. Lauren Silverman/KERA hide caption

itoggle caption Lauren Silverman/KERA

Sam Swiller and his dog, Sully, in their home in Washington, D.C. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Pages from El Deafo by Cece Bell. Click here to enlarge. Abrams hide caption

itoggle caption Abrams

Kathleen Raven, a health reporter, found out she had hearing loss when she was 5 years old. Jessica Horwitz hide caption

itoggle caption Jessica Horwitz

Patients sit with their eyes bandaged at an Aravind Eye Care clinic in Madurai, India after cataract surgeries. Aravind performs more than 300,000 cataract surgeries annually. Reinhard Krause/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Reinhard Krause/Reuters/Landov

Sound World Solution's hearing device lets a user customize its settings using a Bluetooth connection and a smartphone. Courtesy of Sound World Solutions hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Sound World Solutions

Basic hearing aids cost an average of $1,500 per ear. IStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption IStockphoto.com

Composer Richard Einhorn lost most of his hearing several years ago, but that hasn't held him back, thanks to state-of-the-art digital hearing aids. Kevin Rivoli/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Kevin Rivoli/AP