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There are different types, degrees and causes of hearing losses that are treated with different treatments. The main goal with any treatment is always to have the best speech perception abilities. Some individuals have limited to no benefit with conventional hearing aids due to the degree or the type of hearing loss and are then possibly a hearing aid candidate.
If you wear hearing aids and have a permanent hearing loss, how should you know if you’re a cochlear implant candidate? The answer is unfortunately not very straight forward. Cochlear implant candidacy depends on your hearing test results, speech recognition abilities, age, auditory processing abilities with hearing aids and the list continues. There is however a criteria for referring someone with a hearing loss for a cochlear implant evaluation.
In adults, which are individuals older than 18 with a moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss. A sensorineural hearing loss is a permanent hearing loss that cannot be reversed and which does not improve. The second factor for adults is limited benefit with hearing aids defined by speech perception scores in one or both ears. Cochlear implant technology has evolved over the years and they are much more accessible due to more inclusive candidacy criteria.
In children, a profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears with limited benefit with hearing aids are the guideline.
If you meet any of the criteria below even with the use of your hearing aids, you might be a cochlear implant candidate:
Individuals with a sensorineural hearing loss can discuss the options with their audiologist and ask about cochlear implants. It is important to remember it is longer process of evaluation, implantation and rehabilitation.
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