A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted prosthetic device that allows an individual with moderate to profound hearing loss to experience hearing. They are recommended for people who need more than traditional hearing aids to provide optimal hearing.
Who benefits from a cochlear implant?
Any person who is not satisfied with the current level of support from their hearing aids and wishes to hear better should consider cochlear implant evaluation. There is no upper age limit on who can benefit from a cochlear implant and children as young as 6 months of age can be evaluated for surgical candidacy. Thanks to Trinity Health’s collaborative relationship with Mayo Clinic, we offer opportunities to participate in their cochlear implant studies.
How to get a cochlear implant
The process of receiving a cochlear implant begins with an evaluation. Trinity Health audiologists measure the patient’s hearing with and without their hearing aids. They also determine the patient’s ability to hear and understand speech with high-powered hearing aids that are optimized based on their hearing loss.
If the patient is a candidate for cochlear implantation, our team refers them to an implant center. Some of the closest options include Sanford Health – Fargo, the University of Minnesota and Mayo Rochester.
Trinity Health audiologists provide information about the implant process, discuss available device options, and educate the patient and family on the long-term follow-up care needed.
What happens after a cochlear implant?
Approximately two weeks after cochlear implantation surgery, the patient will return to Trinity Health for a fitting of the external part (speech processor) and activation. Follow up visits with the audiologist occur every 3-6 months for the first two years. Aural rehabilitation, therapy for listening retraining, and adjusting to the implant, is critical to post-activation success.
Cochlear Implant Services at Trinity Health
Our audiologists have extensive experience with all three of the FDA-approved cochlear implant manufacturers.
FDA approved Cochlear Implant manufacturers:
We offer the following services to individuals of all ages and with any equipment model:
- Pre-implantation candidacy evaluation
- Counseling about individual expectations with a cochlear implant
- Counseling about the three FDA approved manufacturers of cochlear implants
- Initial activation (initial stimulation) of the cochlear implant
- Follow-up programming of the cochlear implant
- Cochlear implant device troubleshooting
- Diagnostic evaluation of speech processors and internal equipment
- Aural rehabilitation services through the Speech Therapy Department at Trinity Health