Do you have trouble following conversations when you’re out somewhere with a lot of background noise like Creekmore’s Sports Bar? Have you tried using hearing aids to treat your hearing loss with no success? If so, you may be a candidate for a cochlear implant.
Different Than Hearing Aids
Hearing aids and cochlear implants both work to improve your ability to hear but work in different ways.
- Use microphones, amplifiers and speakers to make sounds louder.
- Rely on the ear’s natural hearing ability to help pick up sound.
- Worn inside or behind the ear.
- Are small devices that come in two parts. The external component sits behind the ear, and the internal component is surgically implanted behind the ear and in the cochlea, which is part of the inner ear.
- Uses electrical current to stimulate the auditory nerve, bypassing parts of the ear that no longer work.
- May be the preferred treatment option when your hearing loss is severe.
Who Should Get One?
Cochlear implants aren’t for everyone. Your audiologist and other medical professionals will work together to decide whether or not they are a good option for you. In general, you might be a candidate if you:
- Have moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears
- Have shown little to no benefit from hearing aids, especially when it comes to understanding speech
- No medical conditions that would make surgery risky
Other factors that might impact whether a cochlear implant is the right choice for you include:
- A willingness to commit to rehabilitation
- Understanding the capabilities and limitations of cochlear implants
- Having a support system in place that can help you throughout the process
Is My Child a Candidate?
Cochlear implants can improve hearing in children with severe or profound hearing loss.
The criteria for children are slightly different based on age. According to Cochlear, your child may be a candidate if they meet these standards:
- 9-24 months: Profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears and limited benefit from hearing aids.
- 2-17 years: Severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears with limited benefit from hearing aids, and a speech score less than or equal to 30% of the Multisyllabic Lexical Neighborhood Test (MLNT).
For infants and children, early intervention with cochlear implants can provide them with the opportunity to meet developmental milestones (particularly in speech) at a similar pace to other kids their own age.
If you would like to learn more about cochlear implants or schedule an appointment, call Today's Hearing today.