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 an electronic device that is surgically implanted to provide a sense of sound to someone who has severe hearing issues or is completely deaf. An implant can give a deaf person a useful representation of sounds in the environment to help him or her understand speech, but it does not restore normal hearing.
The cochlear implant is comprised of an external portion that sits behind the ear and a second portion that is placed under the skin surgically. The basic parts of the device include:
- A high-quality 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 signals to the nerves in the scala tympani & then directly to the brain through the auditory nerve system
Implant candidacy is determined on an individual basis and takes into account the history of the person's hearing, source of hearing loss, residual hearing level, ability to recognize speech, overall health status, and commitment to audiologic habilitation or rehabilitation. Post-lingually deaf adults, pre-lingually deaf children and post-lingually hearing-impaired people whose hearing loss is usually due to disease are the three main groups of people that receive implants.
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