Adult Cochlear Implant Evaluation and Programming
When hearing aids are not enough, a cochlear implant evaluation may be warranted. Our services include evaluation and programming for adult cochlear implant candidates.
What is a Cochlear Implant?
A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. An implant does not restore normal hearing. Instead, it can give a deaf person a useful representation of sounds in the environment and helps him or her to understand speech.
The implant consists of an external portion that sits behind the ear and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin. The basic parts of the device include:
- A microphone that picks up sound from the environment
- A speech processor that selectively filters sound to prioritize audible speech and sends the electrical sound signals through a thin cable to the transmitter
- A transmitter, which is a coil held in position by a magnet placed behind the external ear; it transmits the processed sound signals to the internal device by electromagnetic induction
- A receiver and stimulator secured in bone beneath the skin, which converts the signals into electric impulses and sends them through an internal cable to electrodes
- An array of up to 22 electrodes wound through the cochlea, which send the impulses to the nerves in the scala tympani and then directly to the brain through the auditory nerve system
Your audiologist determines implant candidacy on an individual basis and takes into account a person's hearing history, cause of hearing loss, amount of residual hearing, speech recognition ability, health status, and family commitment to aural habilitation/rehabilitation. The three main groups of people to receive implants are post-lingually deaf adults, pre-lingually deaf children and post-lingually hearing-impaired people whose hearing loss is usually due to disease.
A prime candidate has:
- Severe to profound sensorineural hearing impairment in both ears
- A functioning auditory nerve
- Lived at least a short amount of time without hearing (approximately 70+ decibel hearing loss, on average)
- Good speech, language, and communication skills, or in the case of infants and young children, a family willing to work toward speech and language skills with therapy