COCHLEAR IMPLANT EVALUATION IN LUBBOCK & SNYDER

Millions of people are affected by hearing loss each year.

Hearing aids, more often than not, are the best solution to help these patients engage in the world around them successfully. Sometimes, however, for individuals with moderate to profound hearing loss, hearing aids are not enough.

As audiologists at Cornerstone Audiology, we know who these patients are. We see them often in clinic and have worked tirelessly to try to maximize their hearing potential. We have tried every fitting formula and hearing aid available with limited success. These patients want more than what we can give them with even the BEST technology and expertise available.

That’s why we have decided to launch Cornerstone’s Cochlear Implant Program!

Our very own Dr. Courtney Arnold has extensive experience as a cochlear implant audiologist prior to working at Cornerstone Audiology. She recently completed even further training in programming and cochlear implant candidacy requirements to equip her for this new role at Cornerstone Audiology.

We genuinely care about the interests of our patients and want them to have every opportunity to hear their best.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Are cochlear implants for both ears or just one?

Cochlear implants can be placed in one ear (unilateral) or both ears (bilateral) depending on the patient’s unique circumstances and hearing loss.

Q: What is a cochlear implant?

Cochlear implants are an established, FDA-approved medical treatment option designed to replace the function of the inner ear (cochlea) and mimic natural hearing. Cochlear implants use electrical impulses to transmit sound to the inner ear and on to the hearing nerve. This is then interpreted by the brain as sound. There are two main components to a cochlear implant system: an external processor and an internal implant.

The device transmits a modified sound signal from a sound processor to stimulate the auditory nerve through electrodes threaded into the cochlea. Though hearing loss is not cured by cochlear implants, they restore access to sound for the patient.

The device was approved by the FDA in the 1970s, providing a higher level of sound sensation to individuals with severe hearing loss. Digital technology, like all other electronic devices, continues to contribute to their improved performance.

Q: What is bi-modal?

Bi-modal fittings are when the patient wears a cochlear implant on one ear and a traditional hearing aid on the other ear. The latest technology works to have the hearing aid and cochlear implant communicate with each other to maximize hearing potential by streaming and app utilization.

Q: How do I know if I am a cochlear implant candidate?

Cochlear implant candidacy is determined by both the audiologist as well as the surgeon. Specific candidacy requirements exist that include, hearing loss, word understand, performance with hearing aid use as well as medical history.

Cochlear implants are intended for patients with moderate to profound hearing loss when hearing aids are not sufficient to improve word understanding to certain levels.

Q: What do I expect in a cochlear implant evaluation?

Cochlear implant evaluations are performed by Dr. Arnold at our office. The evaluation consists of general hearing testing in a sound booth with pure tone detection and word understanding as well as sentences and a thorough case history. Dr. Arnold will spend time to answer your questions and concerns and connect you to other professionals as needed. Insurance typically covers the cost of the evaluation.

Q: Are there risks in a cochlear implant surgery?

There are risks involved with any surgical procedure. Cochlear implants require general anesthesia. Surgical risks are minimal and most patients require only a one-day hospital stay and have no surgical complications.

Q: Will I need more surgery as new technology becomes available?

There are two parts to a cochlear implant. The implanted device and the external processor. The implanted device is meant to last throughout a patient’s lifetime. The external processor can be upgraded as technology improves over time.

Q: Can people with cochlear implants swim and shower and remain active after activation?

The only restriction for patients with cochlear implants is skydiving and scuba diving due to pressure changes in the environment. Patients may swim and shower only when they are not wearing their external processor. Participation in other activities are unrestricted although protective headgear may be recommended.

Q: How long after the surgery is the implant activated and what can I expect with activation?

Cochlear implants are typically activated 4-6 weeks after surgery by your audiologist. This is when Dr. Arnold will program the sound processor to introduce you to basic soft and louder sounds. Patients gradually start to recognize and interpret more sounds in the weeks and coming months. Dr. Arnold will work with patients to continue to map and program the device so that the patient receives maximum benefits.

Q: Are cochlear implants covered by insurance?

Typically cochlear implants are covered both by Medicare as well as private insurance companies.

Request a Callback

If you are interested in exploring how Cochlear Implants may be the right option for you or a loved one, then simply complete this form and a member of our team will call you for a friendly, no-obligation conversation.