Cochlear Implant technology is not right for everyone, but it may be right for you.
If you suffer from severe hearing loss and hearing aids don’t treat it, you may be a candidate for the life-changing technology that is a cochlear implant.
What does a cochlear implant help with?
Cochlear implants help restore hearing to patients with sensorineural hearing loss in one or both ears. In case it hasn’t been explained to you, we’ll give you a brief rundown of what that is caused by. It may have affected an individual from birth or originated due to extreme noise exposure when the sensory cells in the inner ear are either too few in number or have been permanently damaged to a degree that they cannot provide sufficient hearing ability.
To help you with terminology you might hear or see in reading material, hearing loss in one ear is called single-sided deafness and hearing loss in both ears is referred to as bilateral hearing loss.
What does a cochlear implant do?
Although it is complex, a cochlear implant is a simpler system than it may seem. In short, it completely bypasses the damaged or missing sensory cells in the inner ear by stimulating the cochlear nerve. The external part of the device, which sits behind the ear, is a microphone which processes the sound and sends it to an implant just under the skin. The signals then travel through a thin wire to the cochlear nerve. The brain translates those signals into hearing sensations. With therapy and rehabilitation, the user can learn how to use these sensations to improve communication and overall hearing ability.
Who qualifies for a cochlear implant surgery?
An audiologist or healthcare provider may recommend a cochlear implant to individuals with poor speech discrimination.
Other qualifications include individuals that:
Hearing aids do not seem to benefit
Have extremely poor clarity of sounds
Have hearing aids, but still cannot understand 50% of words directed to them without lip reading.
What are the benefits of cochlear implants?
Hearing may be restored to near normal ability
Hearing capabilities continue improving for 3 months after initial tuning
Most users can determine the loudness of what they hear
Sounds like footsteps, doors closing, traffic noises, telephones ringing, dogs barking, tea kettles whistling, leaves rustling, and more can all be detected and deciphered
The ability to understand speech without lip reading, or significantly improved ability when aided by lip-reading
Watching TV and listening to music become more enjoyable
Should it be on one or both sides?
As mentioned previously, cochlear implants can be implemented on one or both sides. For individuals suffering from profound bilateral hearing loss, it is recommended that they have cochlear implants implemented on both sides. That helps improve the ability to locate sound, understand speech even with background noise, and allows the user to perceive dual sourced (stereo) sounds.
Wondering what the age limit is for cochlear implantation?
Great news! There isn’t an upper limit. Although a psychocognitive evaluation is required for seniors, this is primarily because a key advantage of cochlear implant technology is that it helps the user retain their autonomy and enjoy a higher quality of life through social experiences.
What happens after the cochlear implant procedure?
In order for patients to acclimate to their new hearing sensations, they visit our trained therapy and rehab specialists regularly to practice their understanding of speech and ability to locate sounds. The combination of therapy and rehabilitation has proven to more rapidly increase the rate at which a patient’s hearing improves and helps them reach their maximum benefit from the implantation.
If you’ve tried everything under the sun to improve your hearing loss and still struggle in your day-to-day life, you may qualify for a cochlear implant. Call American Hearing + Audiology for Communication Disorders today to schedule your free consultation!
A bone anchored solution is an implanted device that works through direct bone conduction. Sound is conducted through the skull bone, bypassing the outer and middle ear and directly stimulating the cochlea. The device is composed of three parts: a titanium implant, an external abutment and a detachable sound processor. Very little amplification is required as the conductive component is bypassed via direct bone conduction.
Three indications for bone anchored candidacy
1. Conductive hearing loss: The conductive component of the hearing loss is greater than 30 dB.
2. Mixed hearing loss: The conductive component of the hearing loss is greater than 30 dB. Mild to moderate sensorineural component to the hearing loss. The greater the air-bone gap, the more the candidate will benefit from the bone anchored device.
3. Single-Sided Deafness (SSD): This type of deafness is described as having one good ear and the other is classified as the deaf ear.
“The service that we got from American Hearing + Audiology, I couldn’t have made it without it.”
Are you ready to restore your sense of sound?
Visit our audiologist to see if you fit the criteria for a cochlear implant.