Cochlear implants are U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved, surgically-implanted medical devices that treat moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss. Cochlear implants replace the function of a damaged inner ear (cochlea) and are designed to mimic natural hearing.
Although hearing aids are typically the first step to treating hearing loss, they can be an effective option for someone with mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss who only needs sounds to be amplified or made louder.
As hearing loss progresses, sounds need to be made louder and clearer so speech can be understood. This is what cochlear implants can do. Cochlear implants are a proven medical treatment that can help adults of all ages with moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss who are still struggling to hear when wearing hearing aids. They also are approved for children ages 9 months and older who have severe to profound hearing loss in both ears and with limited benefit from hearing aids.
Benefits of cochlear implants:
- Significant improved hearing in noise when compared to hearing aid performance1
- Improved speech understanding, sound clarity and language skills2
- Improved quality of life3
- 5X more satisfied with the ability to understand what is said on TV than with two hearing aids4
- 7X more satisfied with the ability to understand sentences than with two hearing aids5
- 11X more satisfied with the ability to hear on the phone than with two hearing aids4
- Improvements in verbal and memory functions6
Who Can Benefit from a Cochlear Implant?
For adults, cochlear implants help those with moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears who are not receiving enough benefit when using hearing aids.
Cochlear implants are approved for children 9 months and older with severe to profound hearing loss in both ears.
- Children 9-24 months: Profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears and limited benefit from hearing aids in both ears.
- Children 2 - 17 years: Severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears with limited benefit from hearing aids.
To get further information about cochlear implants, contact your hearing healthcare professional or visit Cochlear.com and the American Cochlear Implant Alliance.
1.The Nucleus Freedom Cochlear Implant Surveillance Trial Results. 2008 June.
2. Novak MA, Firszt JB, Rotz LA, et al. Cochlear implants in infants and toddlers. Ann Otol Rhino Laryngol Suppl 2000; 185:46-49.
3. Hirschfelder A, Gräbel S, Olze H. The impact of cochlear implantation on quality of life: The role of audiologic performance and variables. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008 Mar; 138(3):357-362.
4. Clinical Evaluation of the Cochlear Nucleus CI532 Cochlear Implants in Adults Investigator Meeting. 2019 Apr.
5. Balkany T, Hodges A, Menapace C, et al. Nucleus Freedom North American clinical trial. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2007; 136(5):757-762.
6. Cosetti MK (2016) Neurocognitive testing and cochlear implantation: Insights into performance in older adults. Clin Interv Aging, 11:603-13.