A Cochlear Implant Can Be Life-Changing
Cochlear Implants might be a suitable option for people who are experiencing significant difficulty hearing despite using traditional amplification devices such as hearing aids.
Researchers at Ear Science Institute Australia, Curtin University and UWA are investigating new treatments for hearing loss
1 in 6 Australians live with hearing loss, and we are investigating your experience living with hearing loss or supporting someone with hearing loss to better understand your needs.
Supported by the CSIRO On Prime program, we invite you to participate in this research project and participate in a 15-minute phone or video interview with the research team.
You will be asked a series of questions related to your life with hearing loss or how you support a person living with hearing loss.
Join us in finding new treatments for today.
How a cochlear implant works
A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants do the work of damaged parts of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain.
What is a Cochlear Implant?
A cochlear implant is an intricate and extremely small electronic device that can enable a person who is profoundly deaf or very hard of hearing to gain a sensation of sound by directly stimulating the cochlear. An exterior piece of the implant rests behind the ear, while a second portion is surgically implanted beneath the skin. The internal portion is implanted beneath the skin behind the ear during an outpatient procedure. The cochlea, which is part of the inner ear, is reached by a thin cable and several tiny electrodes. The wire transmits impulses to the cochlear nerve, which transmits sound information to the brain, resulting in a sensation of hearing.
Cochlear implants are made up of several intricate components. Firstly, a high-quality microphone that accurately picks up surrounding sounds works in conjunction with a speech processor that picks and organises sounds captured by the cochlear implant. A transmitter and receiver will then receive speech processing signals and transform them into electric impulses. An electrode array is the final step wherein electrodes that gather stimulator impulses will transmit the impulses to various parts of the cochlear nerve.
Although normal hearing cannot be restored, with the right therapy and practice, a cochlear implant can provide enhanced hearing. This will lead to a greater awareness of noises in the surroundings and improved communication through lip reading and listening.
Cochlear Implants may benefit you if you have difficulty:
- Hearing in the presence of background noise
- Hearing over the telephone Hearing the television
- Participating in group conversations due to limited hearing when there are 2 or more people participating in the conversation
- Understanding what people are saying, hearing the speech but limited clarity
- If this is the case, you might consider a cochlear implant.
How do they work?
Cochlear implants bypass the damaged part of your inner ear, the cochlear, to stimulate the hearing nerve. A cochlear implant can make sounds clearer, not just louder. It also provides a long term, stable hearing outcome.
Am I a candidate?
Any person with a moderately severe to profound degree of hearing loss of a sensorineural nature (in the inner ear or cochlear) in one or both ears might be a possible candidate for a cochlear implant. In most cases, the person must have trialled hearing aids unless the hearing loss is severe enough not to be fitted with a hearing aid. There is no lower or upper age limit. An audiological and medical assessment will review the integrity of the nerve, and expectations will be discussed, depending on the hearing and amplification history provided during the assessment.
What’s involved in the procedure?
All we require to review possible candidacy is a recent audiogram and, where possible, a summary of the hearing and amplification history. Once our clinic has received this information, we can book an appropriate appointment and hopefully get you scheduled for cochlear implant surgery.
During this appointment, your hearing will be assessed with amplification devices, and the results will be discussed. We will recommend ensuring that you receive the best possible hearing outcome. If you are a suitable candidate for a cochlear implant, you will be referred for a medical review.
If you are not a suitable candidate, other recommendations will be provided to ensure that your hearing concerns are addressed.
Expected hearing benefits
Hearing through a cochlear implant is different from hearing through a hearing aid.
Cochlear implants are life-changing for many of our clients. How well you do with an implant can depend on many things, everyone is different. Our research shows that most adult implant recipients report significantly improved hearing in quiet and noise. People with many types of hearing loss could benefit from a cochlear implant.
Cochlear implant costs can vary but once installed, maintaining them is inexpensive. You also don’t have to worry about big components sticking out or being visible to the people around you. The hearing implants are sometimes referred to as invisible cochlear implants due to how small the components are and how well they can blend with hair.
Talk to someone who knows
Ear Science Implant Clinic offers a mentor program to allow you to speak with someone who understands how you are feeling and who has been through the hearing implant journey.
Our Mentors are kind, caring people who are happy to volunteer their time and share their experiences to support you.