About Cochlear Implants
If there’s anything that can mimic the natural hearing function of the inner ear, it is cochlear implants!
Cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device which aims to replace the function of a damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which primarily work by amplifying the sounds for people with reduced hearing capabilities; a cochlear implant provides a sense of sound by directly stimulating the auditory nerve. It completely bypasses the dysfunctional normal hearing mechanism and stimulates the auditory nerve directly.
Cochlear implants are best adviced for people with profound hearing loss as they will create a sensation of sound by bypassing the damaged inner ear.
Parts of a Cochlear Implant
‘Implanting’ the cochlear implant involves a surgical procedure and should only be performed by experienced surgeons. Also, the health and general well-being of the candidate undergoing the cochlear implants matters. Let us understand that further.
Candidacy For Cochlear Implants:
Cochlear Implants are used worldwide for both children and adults. While it is not possible to predict exact benefits for each cochlear implant user, the following guidelines may be helpful:
- Older children and adults with previous speech and language development generally perform better with a cochlear implant
- A long period of profound hearing loss may limit the benefits of a cochlear implant
Post-Lingual Adults (Adults with previous speech & language development)
- Individuals 18 years of age or older
- Moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears
- Limited benefit from amplification (hearing aids) defined by preoperative test scores of ≤ 50% sentence recognition in the ear to be implanted and ≤60% in the opposite ear or binaurally
- Implantation at a young age is highly recommended because hearing is important for language development and because research has shown better outcomes for children implanted at an early age
- Children can be implanted as soon as 6 months of age
- Profound sensori-neural hearing loss
- Limited benefit from binaural amplification (hearing aids)