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Parents & Families

Cochlear Implant Candidacy Questions:

When hearing aid/s are not providing adequate benefit, it may be appropriate to consider a Cochlear Implant. A cochlear implant candidacy assessment is warranted if a patient answers yes to two or more of the functional hearing questions:

  • Moderate (45dBHL) to Profound (110dBHL) sensorineural hearing loss

  • Ski slop hearing loss, normal or mild hearing (35dBHL) to profound sensorineural hearing loss

  • Poor word recognition scores (less than 65% in either ear)

  • Are daily social or professional interactions significantly impacted by their hearing loss

  • While wearing appropriately fitted hearing aids, the patient experiences significant difficulties hearing in quiet situations and/or in noise

  • Difficulty hearing on the telephone

  • Dissatisfaction with appropriately fitted hearing aids

  • Difficulties hearing with one or more people when in background noise

  • Difficulties hearing without lip reading cues

  • Frequently asking people to repeat themselves

  • Socially isolating due to the difficulties and effort involved with listening and communicating

  • Frustration over their hearing

Typical Cochlear Implant Journey

1. Candidacy Assessment

A candidacy assessment typically includes:

  • Comprehensive audiological case history

  • Diagnostic Audiological assessment

  • Evaluation and optimization of current hearing aids or set up of DEMO devices for testing purposes.

  • Aided speech assessment

  • Functional and Quality of Life questionnaires

  • Counselling regarding outcomes and expectations

  • Discussion of Manufactures

  • Discussion of funding – Private Hospital Cover

If your audiological assessment meets cochlear implant criteria, you will have an appointment with the ENT surgeon, Dr. Nadine de Alwis.

2. Pre-Operative ENT assessment
The ENT specialist appointment typically includes:

  • Medical and audiological case history

  • Physical ENT examination

  • Counselling about expectations and outcomes

  • Counselling about CI surgery

  • Referral of radiological investigations (MRI & CT scans)

  • Possible referral for vestibular function testing

There is often a review or telehealth appointment following the imaging and vestibular function testing to confirm medical candidacy for cochlear implantation.

3. Surgery

  • The cochlear implant electrode is inserted into the cochlea

  • An x-ray is taken to ensure the electrode array is positioned correctly

  • The cochlear implant is tested to ensure it is functioning correctly

  • A tight, pressure bandage is wrapped around the surgical site

  • Typically, there is an overnight stay in the Hospital and you go home the following day

4. Post-Operative Appointments

  • One week following surgery, there is a post-operative review

  • Two weeks following surgery, the cochlear implant is switched on

  • Cochlear implant mapping and counseling regarding device and expectations

  • Ongoing mapping and device management appointments

  • Ongoing Auditory rehabilitation

  • One year following surgery, at least one yearly appointment to evaluate residual hearing, mapping and cochlear implant outcomes

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