Cochlear Implants

PACIFIC HEARING SERVICE

Cochlear Implants

Silicon Valley’s Cochlear Implant Specialists

Millions of people of all ages, in all parts of the world, feel the impact of hearing loss. For many, the solution to improving hearing and maintaining a high quality of life involves hearing aids, but sometimes hearing aids cannot provide enough benefit, and hearing care professionals look to an alternative solution.

Improved hearing clarity is possible for children and adults using electronic implants, better known as cochlear implants. In partnership with Stanford Healthcare, Pacific Hearing Service now works with cochlear implants as a treatment option. In Silicon Valley, better communication and better hearing solutions that make use of cochlear implants are available from Pacific Hearing Service.

Cochlear implants, whether in one ear (unilateral) or both ears (bilateral), can help improve hearing clarity as well as elevate speech and language processing capabilities in children as young as six to twelve months, adolescents, and adults.

Cochlear implant technology has been around since the 1970s, and many people are aware of these hearing devices, but don’t fully understand what they are and how they work.

Audiologist fitting the external part of cochlear implant device at Pacific Hearing Service
Cochlear hearing implant on a table

What Is a Cochlear Implant?

Damage to the inner ear, or cochlea, interrupts the auditory process, which limits or prevents the transmission of sound signals to the auditory nerve and to the auditory processing center of your brain. A cochlear implant is a device designed to bypass the damage done to the cochlea by transmitting electric impulses directly to the auditory nerve instead of sending acoustic  sounds through the ear canalthe way a traditional hearing aid does.

Cochlear implants are composed of a processor worn behind the ear that looks similar to a hearing aid, which receives and processes the sounds around you, and sends  this information  to an internal electrode, which is surgically placed into the cochlea. Cochlear implants do not cure hearing loss, but they can help improve hearing when traditional hearing aids are no longer able to provide a benefit.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for cochlear implants came in the 1970s, providing an alternate solution to improve hearing clarity in individuals with severe to profound hearing loss. Though they were cutting-edge technology in that decade, their capabilities far exceed what was possible with those early devices thanks to breakthroughs in digital technology that took place in our region.

Used with hearing aids, or to replace them, cochlear implants provide an advanced solution for overcoming individual hearing loss challenges.

More Answers to Your Questions About Cochlear Implants

DUMMY DO NOT DELETE

Q: AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR A COCHLEAR IMPLANT?

Determining if you are a good candidate for a cochlear implant involves collaboration between your audiologist and a surgeon. Specific requirements that are brought into consideration include your level of hearing loss, your speech understanding , the effectiveness of hearing aid use, and your medical history.

Q: ARE THERE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH COCHLEAR IMPLANT SURGERY?

Cochlear implant surgery is typically an outpatient procedure where you go home either the day of surgery or the following day. The procedure is done under general anesthesia so you will discuss your medical history and any related concerns with your surgical team.

Q: WILL I NEED MORE SURGERIES AS NEW TECHNOLOGY BECOMES AVAILABLE?

Advancements in cochlear implant technology occur in the external processor worn behind the ear. Traditional upgrades involve replacing the external processor, which does not involve additional surgery. New processors are compatible with the implanted electrode.

Q: WHAT IS A BI-MODAL FITTING?

The use of a traditional hearing aid in one ear and a cochlear implant in the other is referred to as a bi-modal fitting. Thanks to advanced digital technology and connectivity, the two devices are able to communicate with each other, maximizing hearing potential.

Q: CAN I SWIM, SHOWER AND REMAIN ACTIVE WITH A COCHLEAR IMPLANT?

Among the advantages of cochlear implants is the fact that you can swim, shower and continue with your active lifestyle with few restrictions. You will simply remove the external processor in order to shower or swim. It is recommended that you stay away from scuba diving and skydiving due to risk associated with changes in pressure.

Q: HOW LONG AFTER BEING IMPLANTED ARE COCHLEAR IMPLANTS ACTIVATED?

Between 4 and 6 weeks after surgery, your audiologist will begin the process of activating your cochlear implant. Activation is gradual, beginning with basic soft sounds, and then building on your progress to introduce more sounds in the successive weeks and months.

Q: ARE MY COCHLEAR IMPLANTS COVERED BY INSURANCE?

Most private insurance companies and Medicare cover FDA approved cochlear implants and surgery. We have service plans available for cochlear implant programming and follow up care at Pacific Hearing Service.
Man wearing a cochlear implant

What Our Patients

Have To say

"They work as a team, seamlessly, and with great love and affection"

by Ann

"I'm probably they're longest customer, I've known them for over 40 years"

by A longstanding client

Learn More About Cochlear Implants from Our Specialist

When hearing aids do not produce hearing improvement or facilitate speech and language development, electronic implants often provide the best alternative solution for those with advanced levels of hearing loss. Cochlear implants are among the important tools used by our audiologists at Pacific Hearing Service in our Menlo Park and Los Altos clinics to help improve the hearing and quality of life for those in Silicon Valley who qualify for them.

If you, or a loved one, want to find out whether you qualify for cochlear implants or just want more information about our program, just complete and submit the adjacent form so our specialist can contact you.

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