Cochlear Implant

Cochlear Implant Information

What is a cochlear implant?

A cochlear implant consists of two parts: an externally worn sound processor and an implant which is placed surgically. The sound processor is worn on the body or on the ear. The sound processor is worn during all waking hours. Depending on the model, the sound processor can be worn during water activities. The internal portion is placed during a surgery and bypasses the damaged potion of the inner ear and stimulates the hearing nerve directly.

Who is part of the cochlear implant team?

The cochlear implant team is a multidisciplinary team consisting of:

  • Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Surgeon
  • Physician
  • Audiologist(s)
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Registered Nurse
  • Social Worker
  • Neuropsychologist/Psychologist

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Cochlear Implant Candidates

Who is a traditional cochlear implant candidate?

Children 12 months – 17 years with:

  • Severe to profound hearing loss in both ears
  • Limited benefit from binaural amplification
  • Lack of progress in the development of auditory skills
  • Highly motivated parents and/or patient with realistic expectations regarding benefit

Who is a non-traditional cochlear implant candidate?

Your child may be a cochlear implant candidate if they have been diagnosed with:

  • Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD)
  • Moderate to Severe sensorineural hearing loss
  • Steeply sloping hearing loss
  • EVA (Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct)
  • SSD (Single-Sided Deafness)
  • The child is less than 12 months of age

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What is the evaluation process for a cochlear implant?

  • The audiologist will obtain a reliable hearing test without amplification in each ear
  • The audiologist will complete a hearing test in each ear with amplification to determine benefit
  • The audiologist will help guide the family to choose a cochlear implant manufacturer that is the best fit for their child
  • Meet with the ENT physician to discuss cochlear implant surgery
  • The speech pathologist will complete a speech evaluation prior to cochlear implant surgery 

What paperwork/items should I bring to my child’s cochlear implant evaluation appointment?

  • Speech pathology reports from the school or any outside facility
  • School reports from your child’s teacher or school audiologist
  • School audiology reports
  • School psychology reports
  • Hearing Aids
  • If your child has a cochlear implant device or any backup cochlear implant device/equipment, please bring to each appointment

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Follow-Up Appointments

My child has a cochlear implant, what audiology follow-up appointments should I expect?

Typical follow up appointments with audiology are as follows:

  • The device is “turned on” approximately 2 weeks after surgery. This is the activation appointment
  • 1 week after the activation
  • 4 weeks after the activation
  • 3 months after activation
  • 6 months after activation
  • 9 months after activation
  • 12 months after activation
  • Every 6 months after the first year
The appointment schedule may change based on your child’s needs

How long are the follow-up/post-op appointments?

A typical follow up appointment can last from 90-120 minutes.

What should I bring to my child’s cochlear implant follow-up appointments?

Your child will receive a primary and backup set of equipment when they receive their cochlear implant. It is important to bring the backup equipment to each appointment to ensure everything is programmed the same in case the backup equipment must be used.

Who do I contact if my child’s cochlear implant equipment is not working?

Your audiologist: (614) 722-3951 The cochlear implant manufacturer:

  • Advanced Bionics: 1-877-829-0026
  • Cochlear Americas: 1-800-523-5798
  • Med-El: 1-888-633-3524

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