What is a Cochlear Implant?
A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device designed to restore the ability to perceive sounds and understand speech by individuals with moderate to profound hearing loss. Infants, children and adults who are not sufficiently helped by hearing aids may benefit from cochlear implants. While hearing aids amplify sound, a cochlear implant provides the sense of sound by stimulating the auditory nerve directly through a surgically implanted electrode.
An implant consists of external and surgically implanted internal components.
Microphone that picks up sounds from the environment
A speech process that analyzes and digitizes the sounds and sends them to a transmitter worn on the head that sends the signal to the implanted internal receiver/stimulator
This receiver/stimulator changes the signal into electric impulses that are sent to the surgically implanted electrodes which stimulate the auditory nerve directly.
his information is then sent to the brain to interpret and process the information.
Who is a right candidate for a Cochlear Implant?
While the benefits of cochlear implant vary across individuals, there are factors can affect the outcomes of cochlear implantation including:
the age when hearing was lost
the length of time between hearing loss and the cochlear implant surgery
For children, the amount of listening and spoken language exposure and training
It’s fair to say that within a year most individuals who receive an implant and who also receive expert and targeted rehabilitation training will show a great deal of improvement in communication skills, particularly in the area of listening and spoken language.
For children, the best results generally occur with getting a cochlear implant at a young age. For adults, the best results are generally associated with a shorter period of profound hearing loss before cochlear implantation. Adults with little or no experience with sound tend to benefit less from cochlear implants.
At CHC, we provide both evaluation and therapy services for individuals who are being considered for a cochlear implant or who already have the device.
Pre-implant audiological evaluations to assist in the implant candidacy process
Pre-implant amplification evaluations and fitting for loaner devices or for purchase
Pre-implant auditory, speech, and language evaluations
Auditory-oral individual speech and language therapy sessions for infants and children
Group speech and language therapy sessions for infants and children
Individual academic support for children of all ages with a teacher of the deaf
Auditory training for adults
Evaluation of device benefit with cochlear implant(s) with or without hearing aid on non-implant ear
Amplification evaluation for non-implanted ear