Everything You Need To Know About Cochlear Implants

10/19/2021 | Hearing Aids, Patient Resources

There is another option for those seeking extra help for the hearing loss, or who are wanting more out of their hearing aids.   

Cochlear implants are a proven way to strengthen the signals being sent from your ears to your brain.

This advanced technology gives us another treatment to improve your hearing so you can get back to enjoying life to its fullest.

We know you have questions. So, we have listed the most commonly asked questions below to help you understand the procedure and what it can do for you.

The Basics Of Cochlear Implants

While basic in theory, these instruments are far from simplistic. Let’s cover some of the fundamental facts regarding cochlear implants.

What Is A Cochlear Implant, And How Does It Work?

A cochlear implant is a device that is surgically implanted into the inner ear. It requires an Ear Nose and Throat surgeon to perform this procedure, and hopefully, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event.

The implant allows for electrical stimulation of the patient’s cochlea, the organ used for hearing. This helps to send auditory signals to the brain more accurately. It’s FDA-approved and completely safe. This treatment is meant for those with a severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss.

Who Would Benefit From Cochlear Implants?

Patients who would benefit from cochlear implants are those who have worn hearing aids before. They have worked with an audiologist and used hearing aids daily. But despite the best technology and programming available, they aren’t getting the results they were hoping for because their hearing loss and word understanding has reached the limitations of hearing devices.

Cochlear implants are great for understanding conversations that they would usually struggle with. Being out in public can be the most challenging part of hearing loss. Cochlear implants are for patients who want to get more clarity when in situations that present multiple sound sources.

Specific audiology testing requirements and medical history are also important factors for candidacy.

How Effective Are Cochlear Implants And Can You Hear Better With Them?

Cochlear implants are often highly effective.

Having said that, the patient should understand the process and have realistic expectations. Although conversational understanding will improve, a cochlear implant is not a cure for hearing loss.

Patients will not hear as they used to in their youth. With this procedure, though, they should receive a more precise signal than they did with their hearing aids and as a result, overall improved hearing.

How To Identify If You Need Them Or Not

With so many hearing treatments out there, it may be difficult to distinguish between them all. The best way to diagnose your hearing is to come in and have a comprehensive hearing assessment done.

We can pinpoint your issue and determine a precise solution, whether it be cochlear implants or another form of treatment.

Here are a couple of questions that we have received from patients.

What Are The Signs Of A Damaged Cochlea?

Anyone with a hearing loss will typically have damage to their cochlea. We’ve seen various types and degrees of hearing losses over our combined 35 years in the business.

Cochlear implant candidates have a severe to profound amount of damage to their cochlea. In these cases, hearing aids are not a sufficient form of treatment.

The First Signs Of Cochlea Damage Are:

  • Poor word understanding
  • Severe hearing loss
  • Absent otoacoustic emissions (OAEs)
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

What Should You Do If You Suspect You Need A Cochlear Implant?

The first step is to visit our office for a comprehensive hearing assessment and cochlear implant evaluation.

Courtney Arnold, Au.D., is our cochlear implant audiologist and she is well trained to determine candidacy. She can assist you through the whole process and recommend a CI when appropriate.

We are always here to help every resident of the Lubbock and Snyder communities. We have made it our mission to do everything we can to ensure everyone has healthy hearing for their entire lives.

Communication is essential to our livelihoods, and we want to ensure that you’re not missing one bit of it.

After all, life is worth hearing!

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Julie Hubik, Au.D., CCC-A - Doctor of Audiology & CEO of Cornerstone Audiology

Dr. Hubik is the owner and founder of one of West Texas' most trusted and professional hearing providers, Cornerstone Audiology. She received her bachelor of science degree in communication disorders as well as her doctorate of audiology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). In her youth, Dr. Hubik became interested in helping people with a hearing loss to communicate more effectively and therefore pursued a degree in this field. Dr. Hubik was born and raised in Anton, Texas, and appreciates working with the people of West Texas. She and her team are proud to serve the hearing needs of their community.

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