Cochlear implantation is a life-changing event to many patients with hearing losses that are not effectively managed with well-fit hearing aids. With the experience most implant users are able to understand spoken speech in the everyday world. Some patients are able to enjoy music and/or hold conversations on the phone.
A cochlear implant is a device that provides sound perception through direct electrical stimulation of the hearing nerve, bypassing the inner ear . A cochlear implant is comprised of two parts — and internal device and an external device. The internal device is surgically implanted under the skin and is comprised of a receiver, a magnet, and a bundle of fine wires, the electrode array. The external device called the sound processor The sound processor analyzes incoming sounds from the microphone and converts those sounds into patterns of electrical current. The current is carried along the cable and delivered across the skin by radio wave transmission to a receiver implanted under skin. The receiver carries the current to the electrode array, which has been implanted into the cochlea, the portion of the inner ear that contains hearing nerve fibers. The current stimulates fibers of the auditory nerve and results in the perception of sound.
WHO ARE CANDIDATES FOR COCHLEAR IMPLANT:
- Severe to profound hearing loss bilaterally
- Those who have limited benefit from hearing aids.
- Little or no benefit from hearing aids, defined as speech recognition scores of less than 50% on sentence level testing in the ear to be implanted and less than 60% in the non-implanted ear or in the binaural condition.
Children: aged 2-17 years:
- Severe to profound loss bilaterally.
- Little or no benefit amplification.
- Lack of progress in the development of auditory skills.
- High motivation and realistic expectations regarding benefit from the child and parents.
Very young children:
- Profound sensorineural hearing loss bilaterally.
- Lack of progress in development of auditory skills with hearing aid(s) or other amplification.
- High motivation and realistic expectations from family.
- Other medical conditions, if present, do not interfere with cochlear implant procedure.