Cochlear implants are a solution for children and adults with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss, particularly for those who do not gain benefit from conventional hearing aids. Cochlear implants work differently than hearing aids. Rather than simply amplifying sound, a cochlear implant provides the sense of sound by stimulating the auditory nerve directly. By bypassing damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulating the auditory nerve, cochlear implants offer individuals the opportunity to perceive the environment and conversations around them that they’ve been missing. Cochlear implants aren’t a solution for everyone with hearing loss, candidacy criteria ensures that those who receive an implant will have the best opportunity for success.
Who is a candidate for a Cochlear Implant?
Children (greater than 10 months old) are considered viable candidates when they:
- Have profound hearing loss in both ears.
- Get little or no benefit with hearing aids.
- Are healthy enough to undergo surgery. This would be determined via a multidisciplinary approach with the child’s pediatrician and any specialists involved in
- Understand (when able), along with their parents, their role in the successful use of
- Have support from an educational program that will emphasize the development of
auditory skills, such as enrollment in a program such as Early On of Michigan.
Adult candidates are generally eligible for an implant if they:
- Have severe or profound hearing loss in both ears.
- Get little or no benefit from hearing aids.
- Have no medical problems that could put them at risk during surgery.
- Have a strong desire to be part of the hearing world and communicate through
listening, speaking, and speechreading.
Unlike hearing aids, these devices need to be surgically implanted. Results from the implant do vary
from person to person:
- For children, the best results occur with implantation at a young age, prior to the age
children typically learn a language.
- For adults, the best results are associated with a shorter period from the onset of profound hearing loss and cochlear implantation.
The ENT Physicians and Board-Certified Audiologists at Michigan ENT work together to provide the most
effective diagnostics and treatment for our patients. Working together, we create a treatment plan for
hearing restoration that is individualized to each patient.
To learn more about hearing loss, cochlear implantation or to determine the best hearing restoration
option for you, call 616-994-2770 to schedule an appointment with our team of experts.