Sometimes hearing aids are not enough. If you struggle to hear even when using powerful hearing aids (that are less than 7 years old and have been maintained properly), a cochlear implant could be a treatment for you. The cochlear implant is appropriate if you have moderate, severe, or profound hearing loss. The cochlear implant will bypass the damaged portion of the inner ear to stimulate the hearing nerve so that sounds are better understood in quiet and possibly noisy environments. It is a game-changer for those individuals that qualify! People report hearing everything from conversations in restaurants to the ticking of a clock.
It is important to remember that wearing hearing aids is a necessary step in the evaluation process for a cochlear implant.
Determining If you are a Candidate
In order to determine if you are a candidate for a cochlear implant, you will need a cochlear implant candidacy evaluation. This will be extensive testing of speech in quiet and in noise with and without current hearing aids. The process will include:
- Diagnostic hearing test/evaluation.
- Determination if current hearing aids are appropriate for your hearing loss through Real-Ear measurements.
- Testing without hearing aids with sentences in quiet and noise through speakers.
- Testing with hearing aids on both ears with sentences in quiet and then noise through speakers.
- Testing with left hearing aid on left ear with sentences in quiet and then noise through speakers.
- Testing with right hearing aid on right ear with sentences in quiet and then noise through speakers.
If it is determined that you are a candidate for a cochlear implant, you will then be referred to an otologist that we have partnered with either in Kansas City or Omaha. You will meet with them to determine if you medically qualify for the cochlear implant. The cochlear implant will be placed in a fairly routine out-patient procedure. In a few weeks, you will return to Quality Hearing & Audiology Center to initially activate the Cochlear Implant. There will be several appointments to fine tune your cochlear implant throughout the first year and once per year after the initial year. There will also be rehabilitation tasks that you will be required to complete at home so that you can hear your best.
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