A small fraction of people with hearing loss may benefit from cochlear implants. Candidates may include those with moderate severe to profound degrees of hearing loss in both ears that show limited benefit gained from traditional hearing aids.

A cochlear implant is comprised of two parts: the sound processor and a surgically inserted device that provide auditory-like sensations to the hearing nerve. The device is secured to the skull to bypass the damaged area of the hearing system to directly stimulate the hearing (cochlear) nerve.

Surgery involves making a small incision behind the ear, through the temporal bone to implant the device. The device is tested during surgery to ensure proper functioning and to gain an understanding of baseline hearing for future adjustments. Surgery is outpatient and lasts 1-2 hours. Numerous postoperative appointments will follow during the adjustment period.

The outcome for cochlear implant surgery is good. Our medical team has successfully performed hundreds of cochlear implant procedures. Our audiologists are trained to help patients throughout the adjustment period. While hearing improvements can vary with patients, many cochlear implant patients successfully participate in mainstream education environments, reconnect with family and friends, and enjoy a high level of participation in the workforce. To see if you are a candidate for cochlear implant surgery, visit Colorado’s leading ear specialists at Denver Ear Associates for a thorough evaluation and consultation.

Hear From a Patient

Gigi developed severe hearing difficulties as the result of major ear infections as a child but she was never one to let hearing loss slow her down. In fact, she developed a lifelong passion for scuba diving. She began experiencing difficulties equalizing the pressure in her ears, something important for all divers as they descend. A physician friend suggested she see Denver Ear Associates.

After a thorough evaluation and hearing testing, a cochlear implant was recommended for Gigi’s severe hearing loss. Her first question was, “Can I scuba dive?” Honestly, we didn’t know the answer right away. Our medical staff went to work researching this and learned that Cochlear® had begun clearing patients to dive.

“I was very nervous, but I trusted my surgeon, trusted this group,” Gigi tells us. After the device was activated, the doctor called. “I heard the beeping, oh my God, you did it!” she exclaimed.

Her advice to Cochlear candidates: patience, persistence, and perseverance. There is an adjustment period post surgery, where each morning she needed to sit in total quiet for 15 minutes. “It was not easy, you have to keep doing it.” It wasn’t long before Gigi returned to the water though. The staff checked her progress regularly as she prepared to return to diving.

“Because it was important to me they made it important to them.” We look forward to hearing from Gigi about her next underwater adventure.

Gigi
Cochlear Implant Patient Gigi
Gigi Diving
First Successful Dive After Surgery
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