The Hearing Health Center of Houston

3275 West Alabama St.

Houston, TX 77098

713-942-8205

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Cochlear Implantation

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Why Choose The Hearing Health Center of Houston

for your cochlear implant services? 

  • You have the freedom to choose the cochlear implant surgeon of your preference. 

  • Your extensive follow-up care (~8 visits in first year) is completed at our convenient location with easily-accessible, free parking. 

  • YOU decide YOUR device. Our Audiologists have extensive experience in all brands of cochlear implants for both children and adults. 

Cochlear Implantation

  • What is it?

    • Cochlear Implantation is hearing technology for people who no longer benefit from traditional hearing aids. Children and adults can be candidates for cochlear implants. While it is not a "quick fix" for hearing issues, cochlear implants give people access to sounds they would otherwise not be able to get with hearing aids.

    • It involves a ~2 hour out-patient surgery. Patients go home the same day. The cochlear implant is activated approximately 4 weeks after surgery.

  • How is it different from a traditional hearing aid?

    • A cochlear implant consists of an internal receiver stimulator that sends electrical pulses to the hearing nerve.

    • An outside sound processor receives sound, processes into a speech coding strategy, powers the external and internal devices and sends the sound information to the internal piece. 

  • Who is a candidate?

    • Children: Severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss, bilaterally with approximately <30% speech understanding with appropriately fit hearing aids. Limited benefit from amplification. Poor scores on listening questionnaires.

    • Adults: Moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss, bilaterally with poor speech discrimination scores of approximately 40% or less in the ear to be implanted. 

    • 2019: Med-El Cochlear Implants have been approved by the FDA for single-sided deafness in children and adults, though some insurance plans may still restrict coverage for the device.

    • NOTE: Cochlear implant candidacy can vary based on clinic, FDA and insurance criteria. As these criteria change, so do implant candidates.

  • Cochlear Implant Evaluation:

    • This evaluation includes extended hearing evaluations with and without hearing aids. If you already wear hearing aids, the Audiologist will check your current hearing aids to determine if they are set appropriately. The evaluation includes listening for the "beeps" in addition to repeating word and sentence phrases. Testing may include background noise. 

    • A standard hearing evaluation cannot determine if you are a cochlear implant candidate. If you have minimal benefit with appropriately fit hearing aids, please contact our office to learn more about scheduling a cochlear implant evaluation. 

  • What to Expect:

    • Day 1: Activation is when we turn the device on. Often, patients report speech as noisy, robot-like, high-pitched or even like Mickey Mouse. Some patients are surprised to hear speech better on the first day, while others need some time with the new stimulation to adapt.

    • Month 1-6: With daily listening exercises completed in the home and regular programming sessions, the patient's sound quality and speech understanding improves.

    • By 6-12 months: We anticipate that if you qualify for a cochlear implant, you will hear better with a cochlear implant than you would with a traditional hearing aid. Although results do vary, many of our patients have improved hearing in quiet and in noisy places and overall improved communication.

    • It is important to wear a heaing aid on the non-cochlear implant ear to help with sound quality, localization, and to preserve binaural listening. 

Image courtesy of Cochlear Americas