Cochlear Implants

Specialty Physician Associates -  - Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor

Specialty Physician Associates

Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctors & Facial Plastic Surgery located in Bethlehem, Allentown, Quakertown & Wind Gap, PA

Cochlear implants offer hope to children and adults with moderate to profound hearing loss, giving them the ability to perceive sound and understand speech. The team at Specialty Physician Associates offers you the full range of cochlear implant services, including your first evaluation, expert surgical implantation, and licensed speech-language pathologists to help you learn to hear using the device. To schedule an appointment, use online booking or call one of the offices in Bethlehem, Allentown, Quakertown, and Wind Gap, Pennsylvania.

Cochlear Implants Q & A

What is a Cochlear Implant?

A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that helps to restore hearing in patients with severe hearing loss. Hearing aids amplify sound coming into the ear, but a cochlear implant is different: It bypasses the ear to deliver sounds to the auditory nerve.

Cochlear implants contain four parts:

  • Microphone: Captures sounds and transmits them to the speech processor
  • Speech processor: Selects and arranges the sounds it receives
  • Transmitter and receiver: Convert sound signals into electric impulses
  • Electrodes: Receive the electrical impulses and send them to the auditory nerve

As your brain receives the signals through the auditory nerve, it translates them into the sound you hear. When you have a cochlear implant, the sounds won’t be like normal sounds. However, it only takes time and training from the team at Specialty Physician Associates to teach you how to interpret the sounds.

Who Can Receive a Cochlear Implant?

Children and adults may receive cochlear implants when they have sensorineural hearing loss. This type of deafness occurs when the cells or nerves in your inner ear are damaged. The device is approved for children as young as 12 months of age. Cochlear implants are also extremely beneficial when they’re implanted while young children are learning speech and language skills.

You may be eligible for cochlear implants if you meet the following criteria:

  • Your hearing loss is severe enough to affect spoken communication
  • You get little to no benefit from hearing aids
  • You don’t have a medical condition that might affect cochlear implants

It’s also important to be motivated to stick with your rehabilitation sessions as you learn how to recognize the sounds transmitted through the cochlear implant.

How is a Cochlear Implant Inserted?

While you wear the microphone and processor over your ear, the rest of the device is surgically implanted. Your doctor at Specialty Physician Associates makes a slight depression in an area of your skull, which is where the transmitter and receiver are placed.

After making a small hole in the inner ear at the cochlea, your doctor guides the electrodes from the receiver to the nerve. Your cochlear implants won’t be turned on until 2-6 weeks after surgery, so the incision has time to heal.

If you or your child has significant hearing loss, call Specialty Physician Associates or book an appointment online.