Five-month-old Brooke received bilateral cochlear implants. Over (3) weeks post-op Brooke’s cochlear implants are activated. Brooke has magic ears! We’re so proud of Brooke and are excited to continue to walk alongside her on this journey.
What is a cochlear implant?
A cochlear implant is an electronic device that is implanted into the inner ear (the cochlea) and is used to restore hearing in patients who no longer benefit from traditional hearing aids or have hearing loss in just one ear.
Who is a cochlear implant candidate for pediatrics?
To determine if a child is a cochlear implant candidate, we first need to know the extent of his or her hearing loss. Children with mild to moderate hearing loss are not candidates for cochlear implants. Hearing aids and other forms of amplification can usually help those patients. Cochlear implants are used to help children who have limited benefit from hearing aids. Children with unilateral profound sensorineural hearing loss (or single sided deafness), asymmetric sensorineural hearing loss or some children who are plateauing in the language development with appropriately fit hearing aids are also cochlear implant candidates.
The earlier your child receives an implant, the greater the potential is that he/she will develop listening/speaking skills at the same level as their normal hearing peers. Our multidisciplinary cochlear implant team has the ability and resources to help your child make as much progress as possible with listening/speaking skills.
- At least 9 months of age; however, we can request cochlear implantation “off label” at earlier ages
- Limited benefit from well fitted hearing aids that are worn all the time
- Minimal progress in auditory development and speech and language development
- Children whose families are motivated to follow through with therapy to support language learning and full-time cochlear implant device use
Older Children Considerations:
- Mode of communication
- Consistent use of hearing aids
- Hearing aids are no longer providing adequate benefit
- Poor speech understanding with properly fit hearing aids
- Motivation to follow through with therapy and full time CI use
- Understanding the benefits and limitations of cochlear implant use
What to expect at your cochlear implant activation.
Your cochlear implant activation is typically three to four weeks post-op. Dr. Lewis, our audiologist, will provide you with a sound processor to connect to your implant and begin programming. Programming a sound processor is fine tuning the settings. It takes time for the brain to adjust and recognize sound. Dr. Lewis will work with you to adjust pitch and volume. Programming a pediatric cochlear implant may look different as an infant cannot communicate with what is too loud. Dr. Lewis takes a different approach and adjusts the sound gradually at each cochlear implant appointment.