Cochlear implants are indicated when hearing loss is severe-to-profound, and there is only limited or no benefit from properly-fitted hearing aids. Cochlear implants do not restore normal hearing, however, they permit sound patterns to be perceived as meaningful speech and environmental sounds.
Cochlear implants are indicated for infants and young children (generally 1 year of age or slightly older) with congenital or very early-onset hearing loss. Older children who have lost their hearing, or who have had progressive hearing loss, may also be candidates. Each child and family is evaluated individually, and decisions about the appropriateness for implantation are made on a case-by-case basis considering all relevant factors.
Cochlear implants are also indicated for adults with acquired severe-profound hearing loss who do not receive benefit from properly-fitted hearing aids.
The evaluation process for cochlear implantation is lengthy, and includes audiological, medical and radiographical evaluations to determine candidacy. For children, consideration of speech, language, educational and psycho-social development is also important, and the UCLA Cochlear Implant Team works with other Early Intervention providers and healthcare providers to obtain a complete picture of the child's suitability for implantation.
Following surgical implantation, recipients are seen by UCLA Audiologists for initial device activation and subsequent programming/mapping services, as well as auditory evaluations with the implant, maintenance of the hearing aid on the opposite ear, related rehabilitation and counseling services.
Each individual recipient's success with a cochlear implant is dependent upon candidacy factors and also the recipient's motivation and rehabilitation after implantation. Typical adjustment period is several months berore optimal benefits are achieved.
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