Hearing aids enable millions of people with hearing loss to improve their hearing. They do this by amplifying sounds and optimizing them for the best possible benefit. Dr. Schleiffarth is trained in the surgical procedures and rehabilitation services for cochlear implants for those patients who experience severe to profound hearing loss. Dr. Stout contributes in the candidacy, surgery, and post-op therapy sessions for cochlear implant patients. West River Audiology offers the latest in implant technology from Advanced Bionics and Cochlear Americas.
What is a Cochlear Implant?
Cochlear implants are hearing devices for people with severe or profound hearing loss due to problems with the inner ear. A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of a damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants actually do the work of the damaged parts of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain.
How Does a Cochlear Implant Work?
The cochlear implant’s electrodes that deliver signals to the brain are surgically implanted into the cochlea, the organ responsible for converting sounds waves into electrical nerve impulses in the inner ear. These electrodes bypass any damage of the cochlea by sending information directly to the auditory nerve. The auditory nerve then transfers these electrical signals to the brain, where they are processed as the sounds we hear.
Do I Need a Cochlear Implant?
At West River Audiology, we perform cochlear implant pre-evaluations. A pre-implant evaluation is necessary to determine if a patient is a candidate for a cochlear implant or not. The evaluation may include an orientation about cochlear implants and how they function, a complete hearing evaluation, and a discussion about reasonable expectations of what cochlear implants can offer. If necessary, the patient may also be referred out for a medical evaluation.
We also offer custom programming for cochlear implants. Cochlear implant programming is like hearing instrument programming since they are both based on the degree of hearing loss and the patient’s sound quality preference. Due to the many fine electrodes the cochlear implant uses, tuning a cochlear implant is a more detailed and precise process. Just like with other hearing devices, we are committed to your success and welcome you back to our office for follow-up visits and regular hearing care.
Contact our office today to learn more about what cochlear implants can do for you and your family.