If you have moderate to severe hearing loss, you may be a candidate for a cochlear implant. Let’s examine what a cochlear implant is and how it can help people who struggle to hear, but who don’t benefit from traditional hearing aids.
What are Cochlear Implants?
Cochlear implants are small electronic devices that use an electrical current to stimulate the auditory nerve. The device has an external processor and an internal processor.
- The external processor sits behind the ear and contains a microphone and battery. Its job is to process sound and transmit those signals to the internal stimulator.
- The internal processor includes electronics, a magnet and electrodes. The magnet and electronics are surgically implanted behind the ear and the electrodes are inserted into the cochlea in the inner ear.
Are You a Candidate?
There are several cochlear implant companies that have FDA approval in the United States, and their guidelines for meeting implant criteria differ slightly. However, in general, you may be considered for a cochlear implant if you have the following:
- Moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears
- Difficulty understanding speech even with the use of hearing aids
When it comes to pediatric candidates, children or infants may be helped by cochlear implants if:
- They have severe or profound hearing loss in both ears
- Have shown no real benefit from binaural amplification. This can be in terms of hearing ability, or when old enough to assess, limited speech and language development, as well.
Benefits of a Cochlear Implant
The biggest benefit of cochlear implants is their ability to help you understand speech and stay connected to those you love. This improves your quality of life and makes it easier to enjoy things like going out to dinner with friends at 520 Bar and Grill.
Other benefits may include:
- Improved speech and pronunciation due to being able to hear your own voice better.
- The ability to hear sounds for your own protection like ambulances or alarms.
Cochlear implants give infants and young children with progressive hearing loss the ability to meet developmental milestones, instead of being held back by being unable to hear.
If you have more questions or believe you or your child may be a candidate for a cochlear implant, call Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinic today to schedule an appointment.