The signal that the brain receives through Cochlear Implants is not the same as normal hearing. After surgery, people—children and adults alike—need to be trained to interpret the signals. The process is more complicated than simply turning the implant on. Over time, however, most people can learn or relearn to interpret sound with the help of audiologists and speech therapy.
Am I a candidate?
Not everyone is a candidate for cochlear implants. You will need to be evaluated to determine whether an implant would work well to restore your hearing. You can expect to undergo hearing tests as well as imaging tests to assess the condition of the cochlea and surrounding ear. It’s also important for you to understand what cochlear implants can and cannot do.
If you prove to be a good candidate for cochlear implants, you will need to prepare for the surgery and the process of rehabilitation. Most people are able to return home either the day of the surgery or the day after. You will need to return to the doctor’s office to have your first post-operative visit about a week later, and your implant will be activated once you have healed from the surgery, which can take anywhere from three to six weeks.
How well you hear with cochlear implants is affected by many factors, including your age when you lost your hearing, the length of time between your hearing loss and your implant surgery, and the cause of your hearing loss. A shorter time lapse between the two usually leads to a better outcome, so don’t delay being evaluated for a cochlear implant!