What Is a Cochlear Implant?
Who Benefits from Cochlear Implants?
Less than 6 percent of people in America who could benefit from a cochlear implant actually have one. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services more than 188,000 people worldwide have received implants. In the United States, roughly 41,000 adults and 26,000 children have them. Cochlear implants may benefit adults and children who have significant hearing loss or are deaf.
People who lose their hearing as an adult often do well with cochlear implants because they can relate the signal provided by an implant to sounds they remember. With therapy, these adults are often able to understand speech again. Even very young children who experienced significant hearing loss before they acquired language skills are able to learn how to understand and respond to speech after receiving an implant and intensive therapy.
The FDA has a series of requirements to determine who is a good candidate.
How Do Cochlear Implants Work?
Cochlear implants require surgery and a period of intensive therapy after the procedure. The surgery itself is usually done on an outpatient basis in a few hours. You should review your personal medical history with your physician and go over the risks, but many patients find cochlear implants to be life-changing.