Who Is a Candidate for a Cochlear Implant?
You may be a candidate if you are currently using hearing aids but still struggle to hear. People who benefit from a cochlear implant typically experience difficulty hearing and understanding:
- when there's background noise
- when in a small group, even with hearing aids
- on the telephone
- while watching television (for example, if you must rely on closed captioning)
The inability to hear and understand requires increased effort, and fatigue with communication often causes people with hearing loss to withdraw socially. If hearing loss is problematic enough to interfere with daily activities, an evaluation can help determine if a cochlear implant can improve your hearing and daily communication experience.
How Does a Cochlear Implant Work?
Unlike a traditional hearing aid, which “amplifies” sounds and increases the volume of speech, a cochlear implant bypasses the portion of the inner ear that is not functioning and stimulates the auditory nerve directly with electric pulses. The pulses are heard but not felt. Cochlear implants also improve the ability to distinguish and understand spoken words.
More People Qualify Thanks to New Technology, Expanded Criteria
Rapid improvements in cochlear implant technology and expanded eligibility criteria have greatly increased the range of people who may be candidates. In fact, severely hearing-impaired adults who were not candidates for implants several years ago and could only use hearing aids may now qualify. The procedure can be performed on one or both ears.
Three Types of Advanced Cochlear Implants
We offer three types of advanced implants to help you hear the world around you and understand speech:
- Advanced Bionics
- Cochlear Americas
Our team of neurotologists (specialists in complex disorders of the ear), audiologists, speech-language pathologists, nurses, social workers, and others work with you to determine whether you are a candidate for one of these devices and which type would best meet your needs.