Hearing aids are by far the most common treatment for hearing loss. But they will not work for everyone. For those who have severe or profound hearing loss and do not benefit from traditional hearing aids, a cochlear implant may be best.
What Is a Cochlear Implant?
This electronic device bypasses the damaged cochlea, which looks like the shell of a snail you might find at Upper Beach Lake and provides the sound information directly to the auditory nerve. The device has both an external portion and a component that is implanted within the inner ear. The external portion sits behind the ear and contains the microphone, sound processor and transmitter system. The receiver and electrode system are surgically implanted.
Sound information is picked up by the microphone, processed and sent as small electric currents to the implanted component. The implant passes these electric currents to the auditory nerve, which sends them through to the brain to be processed as sound.
How Are Cochlear Implants Fitted?
After the surgery to implant the device there is a recover period. The swelling will go down and the pain will fade after a few days. It will be three to six weeks before you can return to the office to for the external transmitter to be attached and the implant to be activated.
Your audiologist will fit and program your device and you will work with a therapist to complete the auditory training needed to learn how to process the new sounds.
Who Qualifies for a Cochlear Implant?
Cochlear implants were first approved by the FDA in the mid 1980s. Since then, the qualifications of who could receive a cochlear implant have been updated. In order to qualify for an implant, you must have severe hearing loss and get little to no benefit from hearing aids. In addition, you must be willing to put in the work in order to get the best benefit from the device.
Is a Cochlear Implant Right for You?
Deciding to get a cochlear implant is a very personal decision that should not be taken lightly. While your type and degree of hearing loss may qualify you for the procedure, it is important that you understand the process and have realistic expectations.
Even routine surgeries have inherent risks. While serious complications are rare, your surgeon will review the risks before your appointment is scheduled to make sure you have all the information in order to make an informed decision.
To learn more about cochlear implants or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, contact Elk Grove Hearing Care today.