Discover how a cochlear implant can assist patients with hearing loss.
Close to 48 million people in the U.S. suffer from some type of hearing loss. This sensory loss can have varying degrees, all of which make it a challenge to engage others in public and participate in society in a meaningful way.
- Thanks to modern medical technology, hearing loss patients now have new opportunities to enjoy better sensory perception
- Candidacy depends on the severity and underlying cause of hearing loss
What are Cochlear Implants?
The cochlear implant is a device for restoration of hearing when a hearing aid is not enough or no hearing exists. Cochlear implants are medical devices that are implanted into your cochlea and inner ear. The entire system comprises of the implanted portion which includes the electrodes and an external sound processor. Together, these components work to detect, transmit, and stimulate the hearing nerve so the brain can interpret sounds.
The implants must be put in through a surgery that typically takes place in an outpatient setting (patients go home the same day).
A visit one week after the surgery is done to check the wound. Then, 3-4 weeks after the implantation, the implant is activated by the audiologist.
Who is a Candidate for a Cochlear Implant?
- Young children: 12 months to 17 years
- Profound sensorineural hearing loss (nerve deafness) in both ears
- Lack of progress in development of hearing skills and language development with hearing aid
- High motivation and realistic expectations from family
- No other medical conditions that will interfere with the placement of the implant
- Adults: 18 years and over
- Severe-to-profound sensorineural (nerve deafness) hearing loss in both ears
- Receive little or no useful benefit from hearing aids
- Score 50 percent or less on sentence recognition tests in the ear to be implanted and 60 percent or less in the non-implanted ear or bilaterally.
Hybrid Cochlear Implant
- Typical preoperative hearing of candidates ranges from normal to moderate hearing loss in the low frequencies (thresholds better than 60 dB HL up to and including 500 Hz) and
- Severe to profound mid to high-frequency hearing loss (threshold average of 2000, 3000, and 4000 Hz ≥75 dB HL) in the ear to be implanted.
- For individuals with post-surgical low frequency hearing, the sound processor combines acoustic amplification for the low frequencies with electric stimulation for the high frequencies.
- The CNC word recognition score criteria are between 10% and 60%, inclusively, in the ear to be implanted in the preoperative aided condition.
- The contralateral ear’s CNC score criteria are equal to or better than that of the ear to be implanted, but not better than 80% correct.
- Moderately severe to profound mid- to high frequency hearing loss (threshold average of 2000, 3000, and 4000 Hz ≥ 60 dB HL) in the contralateral ear.
What Does the Evaluation Process Involve?
- Specialized testing of the hearing is performed to evaluate the degree of hearing loss and your ability to understand speech.
- If you have hearing aids, your hearing aids are evaluated to assure they are the best fit for your hearing loss. The testing is done with your hearing aids on. If you don’t have hearing aids, you are given hearing aids for the testing.
- Further testing with your hearing aids are performed to see how the hearing aid(s) compare to the anticipated results from an implant,
- If it is determined that the cochlear implant can provide better hearing for you than your hearing aids, you are deemed a candidate.
Cochlear Implant Consultation
- Your medical evaluation starts with a consultation.
- A careful history will be obtained looking into the cause and duration of the hearing loss, ability and mode of communication.
- Complete examination of the head and neck.
- If the medical evaluation reveals that you are a candidate, imaging is performed.
- Information on vaccines necessary to be done prior to surgery are provided to you.
- A CT scan (3-dimensional x-ray) of your ear (temporal) bone is obtained).
- An MRI (special imaging) of the hearing nerves is needed.
Why come to Dr. Djalilian?
Dr. Djalilian has been an innovator in the surgical placement of the cochlear implant. He has published several articles on the various aspects of improving outcomes in cochlear implant surgery. In over 500 cochlear implant surgeries, he has one of the highest hearing preservation rates for full length (regular) and hybrid cochlear implants nationally. In addition, he takes exquisite care to preserve the taste nerve (chorda tympani) nerve in surgery, which is not often performed by others. Our team works with multiple audiology groups in the area so you can have your surgery with Dr. Djalilian and return to your audiologist for programming.