Cochlear Implants - FAQ
What is a Cochlear Implant?
A cochlear Implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants do the work of damaged parts of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain.
Cochlear Implants help adults with sloping moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears, or children 12 months or older with severe to profound hearing loss in both ears and are not receiving enough benefit when using hearing aids.
Ask yourself the following questions. If you answer "yes" to any of them, a Cochlear Implant may be right for you.
· Do you struggle to hear conversations and ask people to repeat themselves in a noisy restaurant or even in a quiet room?
· Do you depend on your spouse or lip-reading to understand a conversation?
· Do you avoid social activities because you don't what what's being said?
· Are you exhausted at the end of the day from trying to communicate?
· Are you having a hard time keeping up at work?
· Is it hard for you to talk on the phone?
How does the Cochlear Implant work?
Cochlear Implants are designed to mimic the function of a healthy inner ear or cochlea. They replace the function of damaged sensory hair cells inside the cochlea to help provide clearer sound than what hearing aids can provide. Unfortunately, damaged or missing sensory hair cells do not regenerate, so this type of hearing loss doesn't improve without treatment.
There are two primary components of the Cochlear Implant: the external sound processor and the implant that is surgically placed underneath the skin attached to an electrode that is inserted in the cochlea.
Microphones on the sound processor pick up sounds, and the processor converts them into digital information.
This information is transferred through the coil to the implant just under the skin.
The implant sends digital sound signals down the electrode into the cochlea.
The hearing nerve fibers in the cochlea pick up the signals and send them back to the brain, which is understood as sound.
What benefits can you expect from the Cochlear Implant?
Better access to sound than what con be provided by traditional hearing aids
How much does a Cochlear Implant cost?
Unlike hearing aids, Cochlear Implants may be covered by Medicare if you are determeined to be a candidate. They are also covered by many insurance plans and typically Medicaid.
Contact your Hearing Implant Specialist to determine if you are a candidate.