Not all hearing impaired people have the same hearing loss. Some may have a profoundly impairment, while others may just suffer from mild to moderate hearing impairments. A cochlear implant is not a cure for hearing losses, but it may be an option for those who are not experiencing sufficient benefit from their hearing aids. It can help regain their ability to hear sounds and understand speech in an easier way than might be obtained with a hearing aid. Hearing loss is a common condition that affects millions of people. While hearing aids can help, they don’t restore normal hearing.
A cochlear implant may be able to give you back the ability to hear and understand speech by stimulating your auditory nerve with electrical impulses, in regions where a hearing aid could not.
A cochlear implant is a device that can help someone with hearing loss restore or improve the ability to hear and understand speech. Hearing aids are not always enough, so if you struggle with understanding people even when wearing hearing aids, you may want to consider another viable option in the form of a cochlear implant.
The complications associated with hearing loss is often compounded with a lack of early intervention. The sooner you intervene, the better your chances will be for improvement. For those who are not sufficiently helped by hearing aids or have very poor clarity, a cochlear implant may be the next best option.
Sound is picked up via microphones placed behind the ear (similar to behind-the-ear hearing aids). The sound processor converts the sound signals into digital information. The information is transferred to the implant just under the skin. The implant sends the digital sound signals down the electrode into the cochlea. The hearing nerve fibers in the cochlea pick up the signals and send them to the brain, which is understood as sound.
The first step is receive a complete audiometric evaluation by an audiologist. If the results indicate you may qualify for a cochlea implant, further testing is recommended to document and confirm eligibility. The next step is to meet with an otolaryngologist who will determine if medically and audiologically you can surgically be fit with a cochlear implant.
Step 1: Hearing Test-Obtain a full audiometric evaluation by a certified audiologist
Step 2: Determine Insurance Eligibility– Unlike hearing aids, cochlear implants may be covered by medicare. They are also covered by many insurance plans and typically Medicaid.
Step 3: Meet with an otolaryngologist: To confirm medical and audiological qualifications-Cochlear implant surgery is a fairly routine outpatient procedure under general anesthesia.
Step 4: Activation: 4 weeks after surgery you will meet with your audiologist to activate your cochlear implant. You will begin to hear sounds at this appointment.
Step 5: Aural rehabilitation and Care: Your brain will need to be retrained to hear and identify sounds. You will be given tools to practice rehabilitation techniques at home as well.
Your cochlear implant candidacy is determined by many factors, in addition to the degree of your hearing loss. Our audiologist will review all you test results and counsel you regarding your eligibility.