202017Oct

What is a cochlear implant and is it right for my hearing loss?

A cochlear implant (CI) is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of a
damaged inner ear. Cochlear implants are different from hearing aids in that they bypass the damaged hair
cells of the inner ear (cochlea) providing a signal to the brain, rather than just making sounds
louder.
Since cochlear implants are typically covered by Medicare, many people believe they can avoid
paying for hearing aids by getting a CI. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as that. Candidacy for
Cochlear Implants involve multiple appointments with several specialists, including an otologist and audiologist. Multiple evaluations are completed to determine candidacy. People who are CI candidates typically have no usable hearing or do poorly with powerful amplification.
For those who get the cochlear implant, the results are oftentimes much better than with hearing
aids. Initially, it sounds different from a hearing aid in that speech is reported to sound more
robotic. It is a new way of hearing. The brain has to relearn how to process the sounds and
make them meaningful. Successful use of the CI requires practice through various listening
activities, a good support system, and realistic expectations with the motivation to succeed.
Most people with a cochlear implant will say they wished they had gotten it sooner because it
has made such a positive impact on their quality of life and relationships. If you have questions
about cochlear implants or think you might be a candidate, call our office to schedule a cochlear implant evaluation today. 
Matthew Wetmore, B.S.
Audiology Extern