Johns Hopkins Medicine answered:
Children and adults with an advanced level of sensorineural hearing loss in both ears may benefit from a cochlear implant. Sensorineural hearing loss means the delicate hair cells in the cochlea have been damaged, and are unable to transmit signals to the hearing nerve.
A cochlear implant may be considered for someone with a hearing loss that is severe enough to limit speech understanding, even with properly-fitting hearing aids. The inability to hear more than one-half of amplified words provides a guide that helps define candidacy.
Success with a cochlear implant begins with carefully planned evaluations. Candidates undergo medical, audiological, psychological, and communication testing to help ensure that they are likely to derive benefit from a cochlear implant. Both children and adult candidates must have experience with hearing aids. It is also helpful to receive training in basic communication skills prior to having a cochlear implant placed.
The assessment of candidacy will evaluate a range of factors known to be crucial to success. A candidate's ability to attend to sound, to make meaningful associations with sound, and to integrate hearing into social interactions will ultimately reinforce use of the device. In addition, skills in problem solving, attention, and memory can further strengthen communication abilities after a cochlear implant is placed. The emotional experience of learning to hear with a cochlear implant is significant. Therefore, the psychological assessment of candidates and families often provides important insights into how best to tailor a complete plan of intervention.
Counseling informs candidates and their families of what to expect. Having a realistic expectation of what a cochlear implant can provide is the starting point for successful use of a cochlear implant.Children and adults with an advanced level of sensorineural hearing loss in both ears may benefit from a cochlear implant. Sensorineural hearing loss means the delicate hair cells in the cochlea have been damaged, and are unable to transmit signals... More