Your Cochlear Implant Specialists in
Northeast Oregon

Hearing loss impacts the lives of millions of people of all ages in every part of the world.

The most common solution to restore hearing and a better quality of life involves the use of hearing aids, but there are cases that require an alternative solution to improve hearing clarity when hearing aids aren’t enough.

Children or adults looking for improved hearing clarity and more natural sound turn to our audiologist at Audiology and Hearing Aids Associates to facilitate better communication and better hearing from cochlear implants.

Cochlear implants, whether in one ear (unilateral) or both ears (bilateral), are used to improve hearing clarity and elevate speech and language processing abilities in children as young as six to twelve months on up to adolescents and adults.

Although cochlear implant technology is something many people are aware of, few truly understand what they are and how they are used.

Great people. Good, knowledgeable and helpful. Best audiologists I’ve ever been to.

Debbie B.

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What Is A Cochlear Implant?

When your inner ear is damaged or has deteriorated, the electronic device designed to compensate for the damage done is called a cochlear implant, which transmits modified sound signals or impulses directly to the auditory nerve rather than sending amplified or processed sounds through the ear canal and regular auditory system.

An external processor receives and processes the sounds around you and then transmits them to an internal electrode, which is threaded into the cochlea using a surgical procedure. Though cochlear implants cannot cure your hearing loss, they help access sound that is not arriving via natural pathways, even when using amplification.

Cochlear hearing implants were first FDA approved in the 1970s in order to facilitate a higher level of hearing clarity for individuals with severe to profound hearing loss. Similar to other electronic devices, the advancements in digital technology have had a significant impact on the processing and performance capacities of cochlear implants, which far exceeds the capabilities of early instruments.

Used alongside hearing aids or to replace them, cochlear implants are able to provide an adequate solution to overcome individual hearing loss challenges.

Cochlear implants speech processor

More Answers To Your Questions About Cochlear Implants

Q: What Is A Bi-modal Fitting?

When a patient wears a traditional hearing aid in one ear and uses a cochlear implant in the other, it is called a bimodal fitting. Communication between the two devices to maximize hearing potential is now possible thanks to advancements in digital technology and connectivity.

Q: Who Is A Good Candidate For A Cochlear Implant?

Specific candidacy requirements usually include your level of hearing loss, your capacity to understand words, and the effectiveness of hearing aid use, along with your medical history.
Determining whether or not you are a good candidate for a cochlear implant requires collaboration between your audiologist and a surgeon.

Q: What Risks Are Involved With Cochlear Implant Surgery?

Any surgical procedure, especially those that make use of general anesthesia, involves risks. Depending on your medical history, most procedures include minimal risks and few, if any, complications, requiring only a one-day hospital stay.

Q: Will I Need Additional Surgeries To Accommodate New Technology As It Becomes Available?

Technological advancements associated with cochlear implants occur in the exterior processing unit, which is easily replaced to accommodate these upgrades without surgery, while the implanted device is a pretty basic component that does not need replacing to upgrade.

Q: Can People With Cochlear Implants Swim, Shower, And Remain Active?

One of the great benefits of cochlear implants is the fact that you can go on with your active lifestyle with few restrictions, except scuba diving and skydiving, which involve intense pressure changes that can damage the device. Patients remove the external processor in order to shower or swim and engage in other aggressive physical activities while using protective headgear.

Q: How Long After Being Implanted Are Cochlear Implants Activated?

Your audiologist will activate your cochlear implant within 4-6 weeks after surgery. They are activated gradually, beginning with basic soft sounds. You will then build on your progress in order to introduce more sounds in the successive weeks and months.

Q: Are Cochlear Implants Covered By Insurance?

Most private insurance companies and Medicare cover FDA-approved cochlear implants.

Learn More About Cochlear Implants From Our Specialist

When hearing aids do not provide adequate hearing improvement or facilitate speech and language development, cochlear implants often provide the best alternative solution for those with severe to profound hearing loss.

Cochlear implants are an important tool utilized by Audiology and Hearing Aid Associates to help improve the quality of life for those in Northeastern Oregon who qualify for them.

If you, or a loved one, are interested in finding out whether you qualify for cochlear implants or just want more information about our program, simply complete and submit the adjacent form, and our specialist will contact you.

FREE DOWNLOAD: HOW TO ENCOURAGE A STUBBORN MAN TO GET HIS HEARING TESTED

With hearing loss impacting 1 in 5 of us, the data suggests that at least one special person in our lives are struggling with hearing loss. The challenge is that it's often difficult for these people to admit that they have a challenge with their hearing or be open to seeking help.

That's why we have developed a free white-paper to help you to understand the different ways that you can support a loved one and encourage them to get the help that they need.

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With the fast-paced world of technology constantly changing, the hearing healthcare industry has benefited greatly.

Erika’s Story

I’m Erika. I love learning about new technology, particularly with technology designed to help people hear and connect to their families, friends and community. I first learned about the Jabra Enhance Plus 18 months ago in a tech talk related to OTC hearing aids. OTC stands for “over-the-counter”; this was driven by the PCAST report (President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology) that was published in 2016 and was rejuvenated by Biden’s Executive to the FDA to develop regulations and labeling on a new classification of non-prescription hearing aids that would be available to purchase by consumers without professional engagement.

The purpose was to introduce lower cost entry to hearing aids for consumers. This is opening a whole new pipeline of devices from manufacturers of consumer electronics to manufacturers of medical devices to get into the lucrative market of entry level amplification. Bose had launched their new “hearing aid” which was a terrible flop, it didn’t have rechargeability, it had a ton of feedback (whistling), it didn’t even have basic streaming features. Signia launched a product, Apple Air pods added transparency mode and developed an app to “test” your hearing to apply mild gain to your Air Pod Pros, and Resound’s research team partnered with GN’s consumer electronic group that makes Jabra products to develop a hybrid hearing aid/consumer electronic sometimes referred to as a Hearable, PSAP (Personal Sound Amplifier), or and OTC hearing aid. Other companies have come out with products that they are marketing as hearing aids, the FDA has been playing whack-a-mole with these illegally labeled products. Whatever you may call the widget, it is an electronic device that is not programmed by a licensed hearing health care professional.

I was awarded a slot to participate in a pilot project to evaluate the Jabra Enhance Plus product before it was released commercially to the public. I have been wearing the device for the last 10 days. I have about 4 pages of feedback for the developers for the app and also the device itself. Here is my pro/con list.

Pros: The size and fit. It doesn’t look anything like a hearing aid, it is like a small button Bluetooth or wireless earbud. There is nothing hanging out of the ear to catch on masks. The green, faded yellow and red indicator lights on the device and the charger are intuitive ways to alert to battery life. The little charging case holds a charge even when it is not plugged in. It is easily portable, fits great in a pocket of my purse so I have them with me. The streaming is pretty seamless. The app controls are deceivingly simple, it seems like there should be more, but it is really just the volume up and down. They were a lot more comfortable to wear while reclining and listening to streaming audio than other wireless earbuds that I have used. It was easy to switch to a call while streaming. They enhanced listening when I was watching TV.

Cons: The built-in personalization didn’t seem to customize the sound; The filter setting was something that I wanted to change frequently, but it is a buried feature in the app. The fit was sort of uncomfortable in one ear and the selection of domes were not adequate. The occlusion effect for my own body noises was significant. My voice sounded too far away for people on the other end of the phone call. The sound quality for phone calls and streaming audio was inferior to other wireless earbuds that I use. I struggled in noisy situations to hear other people over my own body sounds. They move a lot in my ears with talking. They don’t connect to my computer, so going between zoom meetings and phone calls or other activities was cumbersome and I have to switch devices. My overall assessment is that there is a place in the consumer electronic world for these cute little hearing enhancers, but they will not yet replace my wireless earbuds. I look forward to future software updates that will hopefully improve and expand usability (like connecting to my PC for zoom calls).

Tom’s Story
Tom was not as happy as Donna after his 10 days with the devices. He much preferred his own hearing aids. He did like that his mask never got caught on them. His biggest issue was that he got whistling from them when he turned them up loud enough for him to hear the TV. He did enjoy the streaming capabilities. He struggled the most with pairing the devices, which may have been because he used his Bluetooth a lot for other things and the Jabra devices did not seem to respond well to intermittent connectivity.
Donna’s Story
Donna wore the devices for 10-12 hours everyday for ten days. She loved how much better she heard in group settings and in conversations with friends and family. She mentioned that after a long day she did notice that her ears would get a little sore and she thought maybe a smaller prescription hearing aid would be better for her long term, but she thought these self fitting hearing aids were great and easy to use. She would definitely consider buying them and even had several of her friends ask where they could buy them.
Linda’s Story

Linda wore the Jabra Enhance Plus 5-6 hours a day. Mostly while watching TV. She loved how much easier it was to hear the dialogue on TV. She also enjoyed hearing her husband more easily while they were having conversations. She had little difficulty connecting the devices to her app, the most difficult part of the connection that Linda had was remembering her apple password. She was really impressed with the product and the price.

Beth Story

Beth wears the Jabra Enhance Plus about an hour a day, primarily for streaming while exercising. She loves the quality of the streaming for phone calls and listening to audio books. She tried the devices in a restaurant with friends, but really struggled to adapt to her own voice and thought that it was actually harder to focus on the voices she wanted to hear over some of the other environment sounds being amplified. She really didn’t find them helpful in the classroom like she had hoped, but she admitted that only tried them once in that setting.

Jan’s Story
I'm Jan. I have enjoyed being part of this new technology. After day two I did experience right ear canal discomfort and was not able to wear the device for a few days. I feel if the device was a little bit smaller it would be more comfortable for me. I felt muffled and my own voice was hollow. After a few days I didn't notice it as much. I am not totally comfortable with new technology but found the setup for Jabra to be easy. The charging was easy, and the hearing test was relatively easy. I have normal hearing, therefore did not experience a lot of amplification. I found the app was user friendly. I would recommend them to someone who had a mild to moderate hearing loss that could not afford hearing aids.