Who is eligible for a cochlear implant?
Cochlear implants are widely used in adults and children who cannot benefit from hearing aids. More recently in Australia, even those who have a profound hearing loss in one ear only, may be eligible for cochlear implantation.
How do I find out if I can have a cochlear implant?
You will need to see an implant team comprised of an ENT Specialist and an implant audiologist to ensure you are a good candidate for cochlear implantation and to discuss the rehabilitation process. Your GP can refer you to an appropriate ENT Specialist or Audiologist.
What results can I expect from a cochlear implant?
As with any surgical/medical procedure, the results of implantation cannot be predicted or guaranteed. A wide range of outcomes is possible as many factors will influence the results, including your age at implantation, onset of deafness, duration of deafness, other pathologies etc. For instance, for children born with a hearing loss, the earlier the age of implantation, the greater the benefit achieved in speech perception and speech and language development.
What happens after surgery?
After surgery, you will return to the implant clinic for the fitting of the external components and activation of the implant. This will be followed by a number of follow-up visits for “mapping sessions” and hearing rehabilitation. The implant audiologist will program the implant and make necessary adjustments to allow for the most comfortable and beneficial hearing. Rehabilitation training will depend on each individuals’ needs, difficulties and expectations.
Remember – wearing a cochlear implant is a lifetime commitment!
What is the cost of a cochlear implant?
The total cost varies between implant centres and the services you need. Several private health insurance providers cover the cost of an implant. You will need to discuss this with your private health fund once the surgeon and audiologist have provided you with the billing codes.
What are the risks associated with cochlear implant surgery?
There are risks inherent with any surgery requiring general anesthesia. The surgical risks of cochlear implantation are minimal and complications are very rare.
Will I need surgery to be able to upgrade to new technology?
The externally worn speech processor can be upgraded as technology improves so there is no need for further surgery.