Providence Cochlear Implant
Cochlear implants may be the next step for patients who no longer benefit from hearing aids. Implants can also be the first step for infants born with little or no hearing. Because implants are much different than hearing aids, so too is the process of determining whether someone is a candidate for a cochlear implant.
Your care team at Providence Cochlear Implant have been providing cochlear implant services since 1993. When patients come in for a consultation, our team walks you through your questions and provides important information on what makes someone a candidate for cochlear implants.
People from 9 months to over 90 years old have received cochlear implants. What they all have in common is sensorineural hearing loss, which occurs when there’s damage to the cochlea.
In general, cochlear implants are appropriate for adults with moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears and children ages 9 months and above with significant hearing loss in both ears. Whether a person is a candidate for a cochlear implant is often determined over a series of audiology and medical appointments. Any or all of these steps may be required:
- Complete hearing evaluation – For children, several appointments may be necessary for accurate results.
- Hearing aid evaluation – Your hearing aids will be checked to see how well they work and how well you function with them. This evaluation includes tests to determine how well the hearing aids help you with speech perception.
- Counseling sessions – Your audiologist and a surgeon will meet with you and your family to discuss the benefits, limitations, and expectations of a cochlear implant.
- Medical assessment – This typically includes a CT scan and/or MRI, and an exam by an otologist, a doctor who specializes in hearing loss. Some candidates also may need balance testing and/or a psychological evaluation.
Cochlear implants can improve hearing in people with severe hearing loss who are no longer helped by using hearing aids. Cochlear implants can improve communication and quality of life.
To be considered a candidate, you may be experiencing the following:
- Hearing loss that interrupts spoken communication.
- Limited benefit from hearing aids as determined by specialized hearing tests.
- Motivation to participate in hearing rehabilitation and be part of the hearing world.
- Realistic expectations of what cochlear implants can and can't do for hearing.
Our team of specialty-trained providers evaluate, treat and rehabilitate hearing loss. These teams include:
- Audiologists - a health care professional trained in evaluating and rehabilitating hearing loss and related issues.
- Otolaryngologist – a doctor who specializes in treating conditions that affect the ears, nose and throat. In addition to being a medical doctor, an otolaryngologist is also a surgeon. They perform operations to treat hearing loss.
- Speech pathologist and/or teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing.
Located near our Cataldo Health Center, Providence Cochlear Implant is a clinic next to Providence Therapy & Balance.
To help make the most of your visit, we ask that you do the following:
- Bring prior hearing tests so your cochlear implant audiologist can understand your type of hearing loss and its progression.
- If you are currently using hearing aids, have your hearing aid audiologist ensure that they are functioning properly and programmed to your most recent hearing test.
- Bring questions. We encourage you to be an active participant in this process and want you to be able to make the best decision for you or your loved one.