A cochlear implant is a surgical technique where an electronic device is implanted in your hearing system to take the place of a damaged cochlear (inner ear). If you get a good cochlear implant surgery, it can enable or improve your hearing. Here are some of the factors that mean you are a good cochlear implant candidate:
Hearing Aid Cannot Help
All forms of surgeries have potential complications. This is why surgery is not always the first treatment option if alternative treatments are available. In the case of hearing loss, alternative treatments are available, including the highly successful use of hearing aids. Therefore, a cochlear implant is typically reserved for those who haven't benefited or can benefit from hearing aid. For example, you may be a candidate for a cochlear implant if you have been using hearing aids for some time but you still struggle to hear well.
There Are Medical Contraindications
Some medical conditions may also prevent you from getting or benefiting from a cochlear implant. These may be general medical conditions that prevent you from undergoing any kind of surgery or specific issues with your hearing that make it difficult to benefit from a cochlear implant. For example, any surgery isn't advisable for those with blood pressure problems. When it comes to hearing-specific contraindications, the presence of an active middle ear infection is a fitting example.
The Hearing Defect Is Moderate to Severe
As previously mentioned, any form of surgery (including cochlear implant) has potential risks, which is why surgical interventions are usually reserved for those who really need it. In the case of a cochlear implant, you really only need the surgery if your hearing defect is moderate to severe. This means you may be advised to opt for other coping mechanisms if your hearing impairment is only mild.
The Hearing Loss Is Sensorineural
There are various forms of hearing loss, and a cochlear implant cannot help with all of them. A cochlear implant is only meant to correct sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by a defect in the inner ear comprising of the cochlea and related organs. Therefore, you may not benefit from the surgery if your hearing loss has an alternative cause.
The Patient is Sufficiently Motivated
Lastly, you should know that you won't come out of the surgical room with perfect hearing after getting a cochlear implant. You need some period to adjust, and you may need help with the adjustment in various forms, including rehabilitation. This means you have a high chance of benefiting from your cochlear implant surgery if you are sufficiently motivated and your environment is suitable for your condition (for example, your family members are supportive).
Contact an ear, nose, and throat center for more information.
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