What Are Cochlear Implants?

03/15/2022 | Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss, Patient Resources, Technology

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

Prescription hearing aids take all the credit, as they are more commonly known. This is for a good reason, though, since hearing aids offer a wide range of relief to many who suffer from a hearing loss.

It’s our mission to provide the best hearing care possible to everyone in La Grande and across Oregon. We use every tool available to us, and while most of the time that means prescription hearing aids, some people need a bit more help.

Enter cochlear implants.

These modern marvels of technology have helped millions of people since the ‘70s when they were first introduced. Now the process of getting them has been simplified and is very safe.

Before getting your cochlear implants, knowing if you are a candidate first is vital. In general, cochlear implants are for those with a severe to profound hearing loss. The only way to determine the severity of your hearing loss is through a comprehensive hearing assessment.

Once we have collected all the data regarding your hearing, we can accurately devise a plan and see if cochlear implants are the answer. If this sounds like it may help you, refer to this information about cochlear implants.

Cochlear Implants vs. Prescription Hearing Aids

The main difference between cochlear implants and prescription hearing aids is that cochlear implants require a short and safe surgical procedure to implant the receiver. This is placed just under the skin and will connect to the external components.

Cochlear implants can be more effective than prescription hearing aids in certain cases because they bypass the ear canal and transmit sounds as an electrical signal rather than just amplifying the sound.

Prescription hearing aids are more discrete these days and help those with a severe hearing loss as well. However, cochlear implants are used when hearing aids can no longer provide an adequate solution.

Are You A Cochlear Implant Candidate

Who Will Benefit From Cochlear Implants?

If you have suffered from a hearing loss over a long period and tried other remedies without success, then cochlear implants could be the right choice. These are meant as a secondary option if hearing aids are not sufficient for your type of hearing loss.

Due to the damage incurred over the long term, cochlear implants may be required to turn the sound signals into electrical signals to be processed easier by the brain.

Even the most advanced hearing aids still rely on you hearing the signal they send; if your ears cannot do that, then cochlear implants may be the answer.

What Is The Cochlear Implant Surgery Process?

The entire procedure lasts between two to four hours, and most patients will be given general anesthesia. It’s performed by a surgeon and will only keep you in the hospital for a day.

The implant itself is a tiny receiver placed just behind the ear with electrodes running down to the cochlear. This is what will relay the sound from the microphone to the brain. The apparatus is minimal; due to its simplicity, the likelihood of it needing to be replaced or repaired is slight.

The processor on the outside may require upgrades as more advanced technology becomes available. This is an easy piece to replace, and if that is needed, it won’t cause any disruption to your service.

Another main difference between cochlear implants and hearing aids is that it can take up to six weeks to activate your cochlear implants post-surgery. This ensures you are fully healed, comfortable, and all the components are operating correctly.

Your audiologist will assist you with getting them up and running. They will also help you adjust and get the most optimal settings.

In most cases, your audiologist will start slowly with low-volume sounds. This ensures your brain processes them correctly and quickly. As the sounds become more precise, we’ll make the proper adjustments, and you will be all set with your new hearing.

What Is The First Step To Getting Cochlear Implants?

At Audiology and Hearing Aid Associates, we start with a comprehensive hearing assessment done by one of our experts. This painless and non-invasive test will give us a behind-the-scenes look at how you hear, where the problem is, and what the best course of action is.

Once this data is collected, we can determine if cochlear implants are the right option for you or if you would benefit from another solution such as hearing aids.

Cochlear implants are just one way we assist the residents of Oregon. We are experienced and dedicated to improving your hearing through various avenues.

If you have any further questions, please call us anytime, as we are always standing by to lend a helping hand.

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Erika Shakespeare CCC-A

Erika Shakespeare, CCC-A, specializes in pediatric and adult diagnostics and amplification. Working with adults to help manage tinnitus and hearing loss since 2002, she is an expert in both of these areas. Additionally, she is a pediatric audiology mentor and educator for pediatric audiologists across the country and is one of the most respected experts on pediatric audiology.

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