A cochlear implant (CI) is a device, which is designed to transmit sound directly to the hearing nerve. It is suitable for both children and adults. A cochlear implant is used when the severity of a person's hearing loss means that they cannot receive sufficient access to sound using conventional hearing aids.
A cochlear implant is an electronic device which is made up of two components: the internal component is inserted into the inner ear (cochlea) during an operation; the external component is called a speech processor and is worn on the head or body, like a hearing aid. Just like a hearing aid it has a microphone/s and is powered using batteries.
While cochlear implants do not restore normal hearing levels, for many people they do provide access to:
- Environmental sounds, including high pitched sounds such as bird song.
- The range of speech sounds needed to understand spoken language.
How do I know if a cochlear implant would be suitable for me or my child?
Your GP, audiologist or ENT consultant will be able to tell you if your/your child's hearing loss is appropriate for referral to a cochlear implant programme. They will arrange the referral. There are a number of cochlear implant programmes throughout the UK, who will assess your/your child's suitability as a cochlear implant candidate. The first thing that they will do is refer to guidelines published by NICE.
Once referred, a multidisciplinary team of professionals, including speech therapists and audiologists will work with you to carry out a detailed assessment of your/your child's hearing and communication needs. This will help to establish if cochlear implantation is the right choice.
One of the best ways of understanding what the benefits of having a cochlear implant might be is hearing from people who have them.
Here are some Patient stories from the Nottingham Implant Programme See Patient Stories
Looking for some more information about cochlear implants look at this handy RNID CI Factsheet See RNID CI Factsheet
And this list of informative answers from the British Cochlear Implant Group (BCIG) FAQ's page. See BCIG FAQ's
Want To Learn More About Hearing Loss Support?
If you would like more information about cochlear implants for hearing loss support, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us at Hear Together.