A cochlear implant is a device that electronically stimulates the auditory nerve. It includes internal components (internal magnet and electrodes) and external components (external magnet, speech processor, and microphones).
Who benefits from cochlear implants?
Individuals (both adults and children) with severe to profound hearing losses are considered candidates for cochlear implants. Other variables are considered and further testing is required to determine candidacy for cochlear implants. Consult your audiologist for further information regarding candidacy.
How much does a cochlear implant cost?
Insurance typically covers the costs of cochlear implants. Check your coverage.
What are the risks involved?
As with any surgery, there are risks, such as: infection and complications due to anesthesia. More specific to cochlear implants, there are risks of tinnitus, numbness in and around the ear, facial paralysis, taste disturbances and more.
Do cochlear implants restore normal hearing?
No. In fact, cochlear implant recipients initially report distorted hearing because it is a much different way of hearing (Electric vs. Acoustic). However, the brain usually will quickly adjust to these different sounds and eventually hears them fairly normally. Cochlear implant users who continue to wear hearing aids on their non-implanted side report even better sound perception than with the implant alone.