If your child has been diagnosed with severe to profound hearing loss, cochlear implants might be a great alternative to hearing aids.
How Does a Cochlear Implant Help My Child’s Hearing?
A cochlear implant is an electronic device that partially restores your child’s hearing abilities by stimulating any functioning auditory nerves inside the cochlea. The cochlear implant is made up of two parts - an external piece that fits behind the ear and an internal piece surgically implanted under the skin. Unlike hearing aids, cochlear implants do not amplify sound, but directly stimulate auditory nerves inside the ear. Results vary, but in most cases, it improves your child’s ability to:
- Hear speech without visual cues
- Recognize normal, everyday environmental sounds
- Lip read
- Hear softer sounds
- Detect where sounds are coming from
Deciding the Best Option for Your Child
Our cochlear implant team carefully evaluates your child to determine if the implant is the best option. A child with severe to profound hearing loss who receives limited improvement from hearing aids is often a candidate for a cochlear implant. If you decide to proceed with a cochlear implant, our team provides comprehensive services, including:
- Monitoring unaided hearing
- Programming of the cochlear implant
- Adjusting the cochlear implant programs as needed over time
- Monitoring the child’s progress and medical follow-up
- Keeping you informed about advances in technology
Our goal is to improve your child’s hearing and to provide a nurturing and supportive environment.
Your Child’s Care Team
Improving your child's hearing abilities takes a joint effort, with all hands on deck. That's why your child's care team is comprised of surgeons, SLUCare Physician Group and SSM Health audiologists, a cochlear implant coordinator, and other professionals as deemed appropriate to ensure the best results. After surgery, our audiologists meet regularly with you and your child. We also work with your child's school to monitor their progress, and schedule follow-up appointments to ensure the device's speech processor is fully optimized.
Our goal is to find the best solution for your child. Contact an SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital audiologist to learn more about the cochlear implant or to schedule an appointment.