What Are Cochlear Implants And Who Are They For?

What Are Cochlear Implants And Who Are They For?

by | Mar 29, 2022 | Hearing Loss, Patient Resources, Technology

Pacific Hearing, Inc. has been helping Los Angeles’s residents with expert hearing care for more than twenty years, and one of the reasons why we are able to provide our excellent care here is thanks to the wider group of medical health specialists we partner with.

When you come to Pacific Hearing, Inc. for a hearing evaluation, we look for every possible reason for a hearing loss so we can treat it successfully, but if hearing aids are not the answer, such as with severe or profound hearing loss, we have to consider other options.

Which is why we are so proud to partner with the Pacific Neuroscience Institute (PNI) for our cochlear implant program.

What Are Cochlear Implants?

A cochlear implant is the surgical implant of an electrode in the cochlea — in the inner ear — and it works in conjunction with a sound processor and a receiver.

  • A sound processor is placed behind the ear to process sounds. It does this by digitizing the sound signals and then sending these electrical signals to the implanted electrode in the cochlea.
  • A receiver for these stimulations is placed under the skin, and this sends the sound signals to the nerve and brain, enabling the person to hear sounds again.

This implant will not cure deafness, but it will help a person hear sounds again and process them.

Surgical Procedure For A Cochlear Implant

A cochlear implant is done under general anesthetic and can be done as a day patient. The sutures are usually disposable and will disappear within a week or so.

In addition to this, a series of in-person and virtual visits for the few months following the surgery is required – with both an audiologist and a speech language pathologist.

This is because:

  1. The sounds the brain hears are different to what the recipient is used to, and it takes time working with a speech language pathologist to learn how to distinguish the different sounds.
  2. Activating the cochlear implant is done in very small steps by an audiologist, building from soft sounds to regular sounds over time.

The implanted electrode should last a lifetime, so unlike a hip surgery, there is no need to redo the surgery every ten to twenty years.

Good Candidates For A Cochlear Implant

Most children and teenagers are good candidates for this type of hearing treatment, and it can be done at any age for just one ear or both. Studies show that this implant improves their speech and learning progress greatly.

While a lot of adults would benefit greatly from it, we consider your medical history, history of hearing aid use, and your current level of word recognition when assessing your candidacy.

Living An Active Life With These Implants

Almost every activity can be done with a cochlear implant, other than activities that would place high pressure on the inner ear such as skydiving or scuba diving.

The external processor is removed for swimming and showering, and protective headgear is worn for activities such as football or boxing.

The Cost Of A Cochlear Implant

The cost of this implant is usually covered by private insurance and Medicare for FDA-approved cochlear implants, but if not, it costs about $60,000 to fund it yourself.

Pacific Hearing, Inc.’s Cochlear Implant Program

An esteemed PNI professional is now part of the Pacific Hearing, Inc. team. Read more about Dr. Rebecca Lewis, audiology director of PNI’s Adult & Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program here.

Dr. Rebecca Lewis sees cochlear implant patients at our Pacific Hearing, Inc. office, and we provide the programming and follow-up aspect of care with her to make sure patients are hearing and processing sounds as well as they can post-op.

[PNI is a group made up of highly skilled physicians who have teamed up with the Providence Hospital Organization to operate on brain tumors, treat neurological disorders, and provide the latest in cancer and tumor treatments.]

Find Out If You Or A Loved One Is A Good Candidate

The first step to finding any working hearing solution is having your hearing evaluated, so book your hearing test and we will answer all your questions and go over your options from there.

In general, a cochlear implant is only considered for people that prescription aids won’t work well for. Fill out this form if you would like to know more about the possibility, and a hearing specialist will be in touch.

Thanks to our cochlear implant program, we can safely say that we are one of the top hearing clinics in Los Angeles, and we will do all we can to help you hear and communicate better. So come see us!

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Gregory Frazer, PhD, AuD, CCC-A, ABA, NBC-HIS

Adjunct Professor UCSD/San Diego State U Audiology Program Adjunct Professor University of Pacific Audiology Program Adjunct Professor AT Still University Audiology Program Adjunct Professor Pacific University Audiology Program Dr. Gregory Frazer entered private practice Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensing in 1982. For 14 years he owned and operated Hearing Care Associates, which had 23 offices and was one of the largest audiology private practices in the U.S. Dr. Frazer is a well-known clinician and teacher and was the first audiologist to obtain dual doctorates in Audiology, both a PhD. in Audiology as well as the new Clinical Doctorate of Audiology, the AuD. He is Board Certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, American Academy of Audiology, and the National Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences. Dr. Frazer specializes in the evaluation and treatment of vertigo, dizziness, and hearing and balance disorders. Dr. Frazer is experienced in working with infants, children, and adults. He is semi-fluent in Spanish and Sign Language.

    Request a Callback

    Don’t want to wait? Call us at: 310-909-0180

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.