Sometimes hearing aids are not enough. When hearing aid benefit is limited, cochlear implants may be the perfect option.
A cochlear implant does not amplify sound like a hearing aid. The implant sends electrical signals to the hearing nerve to help provide sound clarity. As with hearing aids, there is a rehabilitative process, where over time, the brain adjusts to the electrical stimulation. Follow up visits with your audiologist are an important part of your rehabilitation.
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Who benefits from cochlear implants?
Less than 6 percent of people in America who could benefit from a cochlear implant actually have one. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services more than 188,000 people worldwide have received implants. In the United States, roughly 41,000 adults and 26,000 children have them. Cochlear implants may benefit adults and children who have significant hearing loss or are deaf.
People who lose their hearing as an adult often do well with cochlear implants because they can relate the signal provided by an implant to sounds they remember. With therapy, these adults are often able to understand speech again. Even very young children who experienced significant hearing loss before they acquired language skills are able to learn how to understand and respond to speech after receiving an implant and intensive therapy.
The FDA has a series of requirements to determine who is a good candidate. To find out if cochlear implants are right for you, give us a call and set up your hearing test.
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How do cochlear implants work?
Cochlear implants require surgery and a period of intensive therapy after the procedure. The surgery itself is usually done on an outpatient basis in a few hours. You should review your personal medical history with your physician and go over the risks, but many patients find cochlear implants to be life-changing.