Cochlear implant clinic and implantable hearing aids

Vertigo Clinic
March 11, 2018
Ear Infection and Tumors Clinic
March 11, 2018

Cochlear implant clinic and implantable hearing aids

  • Cochlear implant:

The cochlear implant is the name of a surgery in which an electronic prosthesis is used in the person’s ears to recover hearing loss. These people usually have a deep sensorineural hearing loss caused by the inner ear diseases.

In this surgery, an experienced ENT surgeon implants a part of the device in the inner ear. This method provides hearing and a better life to persons with profound hearing loss or deafness.

  • Device features

The cochlear implant device has two internal and external parts. The receptor or stimulating part is implanted under the skin in the temporal bone of the head, behind the ear; and its electrode is directed into the cochlea in the inner ear. The external part, which is a processor placed behind the ear, converts sound into electrical energy and is connected, through magnetism, to the recipient part which is under the skin.

What is the difference between a cochlear implant device and a hearing aid?

Cochlear implant devices are very different from hearing aids; they are primarily suitable for those whose hearing aids were not useful. The most important purpose of the cochlear implant is the direct stimulation of the auditory nerve to improve hearing and speech comprehension.

How can you find out if a child or an adult is a candidate for cochlear implantation?

The first step is to visit an ENT specialist and perform appropriate hearing tests.

Planning for a cochlear implant surgery is a precise procedure that requires frequent visits to an ear subspecialist surgeon and his team. Ultimately, the surgeon will explain the function of the device, the way of surgery and post-operation expectations.

Before performing the cochlear implant surgery, it is necessary to try easier and more convenient procedures such as hearing aids, depending on the severity of hearing loss. On the one hand, the patient and his family must be prepared to use the device; because there are many misconceptions about cochlear implant. These individuals usually think that something is going to be implanted in the ears, like a kidney transplant; while the cochlear implant device has external and visible components. After cochlear implantation, rehabilitation programs, including regular visits to a doctor, an audiometrist, and speech therapist are needed to regulate and monitor the functioning of the device and the patient’s response.

In general, cochlear implants are appropriate for:

  • Adults with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears
  • Children 2 to 18 years old with severe to profound bilateral hearing loss
  • Children under the age of 2 years with profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss

Cochlear implantation is performed at the age range of 8 months to 90 years, depending on the patient’s condition.

Cochlear implantation is recommended when hearing aids are not effective for speech comprehension. Hearing assessments are conducted both with and without hearing aids to measure the effectiveness of hearing aids for patients.

Other important factors in decision making for cochlear implants:

  • Lack of medical contradiction for cochlear implant
  • Enough motivation of the patient and his family to attend rehabilitation programs after implant
  • Family support
  • Having a clear understanding of the limitations and strengths of the cochlear implant