Millions of people of all ages from every part of the world are affected by hearing loss.

While hearing aids provide an adequate solution for restoring a better quality of life through better hearing, some cases require an alternative solution to improve hearing clarity when hearing aids simply don’t suffice.

When either children or adults seek improved hearing clarity and more natural sound, the audiologists at North Houston Hearing Solutions look for answers to improve communication and help restore hearing from cochlear implants.

Whether placed in one ear (unilateral) or both ears (bilateral), cochlear implants can be used to improve hearing clarity and elevate the capacity for people to speak and process language. Anyone as young as six to twelve months on up to adolescents and adults can use these implants.

Many people are aware of cochlear implant technology, but few understand what they are and how they are used.

How Cochlear Implants Work

cochlear-implant

What is a Cochlear Implant?

A cochlear implant is an electronic device designed to compensate for the damage done to the structures of the inner ear. The purpose of the device is to help transmit modified sound signals or impulses directly to the auditory nerve instead of amplifying sound that passes through the auditory canal to the inner ear.

There are two main components to a cochlear implant system: an external processor and internal electrode implants that require a surgical procedure to thread them into the cochlea. Though they do not cure the patient’s hearing loss, cochlear implants help restore access to sound.

FDA-approved cochlear implants have been around since the 1970s, providing a higher level of hearing clarity to individuals with severe to profound hearing loss. As with all other electronic devices, the digital technology used in today’s devices far exceeds that of the early instruments, adding greater processing power and improved performance.

Cochlear implants can be used alongside hearing aids or can replace them when they do not provide an adequate solution to the type and severity of the patient’s hearing loss.

Additional Answers To Your Questions About Cochlear Implants

A female with cochlear implant at North Houston Hearing Solutions
Cochlear Implant logo

Q: What is meant by bi-modal fitting?

When a patient wears a cochlear implant on one ear and a traditional hearing aid on the other ear, this is known as a bi-modal fitting. Thanks to advancements in technology, the hearing aid and cochlear implant are able to communicate with each other using digital connectivity, maximizing hearing potential.

Q: How do I know if I am a cochlear implant candidate?

Your audiologist and a surgeon will collaborate to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for a cochlear implant. Specific candidacy requirements might include the level of hearing loss, the ability to understand words, and the effectiveness of hearing aid use, as well as your medical history.

Q: Are there risks involved with cochlear implant surgery?

As with any surgical procedure that requires the use of general anesthesia, there are some risks involved. However, most procedures are conducted with minimal risks and few to any complications, requiring only a one-day hospital stay.

Q: Will I need more surgery as new technology becomes available?

Advancements in technology do not typically require additional surgery because the implanted device is a pretty basic component. The external processing device is the part of the two-component system that you may need to upgrade as technology improves.

Q: Can people with cochlear implants swim and shower and remain active after activation?

The only restrictions for patients with cochlear implants include skydiving and scuba diving, which involve intense environmental pressure changes. Patients remove the external processor in order to swim and shower as well as engage in other aggressive physical activities while using protective headgear.

Q: How long after being implanted are cochlear implants activated?

Cochlear implants are usually activated by your audiologist within 4-6 weeks after surgery. You will initially be introduced to basic soft sounds and gradually be able to recognize and interpret more sounds in the successive weeks and months.

Q: Are cochlear implants covered by insurance?

FDA-approved cochlear implants are covered by most private insurance companies as well as Medicare.

The staff was wonderful, kind and responsive. The doctor took her time to address multiple questions even though she knew we would probably need help from a different type of provider. Recommend? Yes!

Tara L.

Great service very friendly! They attended me quickly and thoroughly, they also helped recommend my next steps.

Leslie G.

I have been a patient of N. Houston Hearing Solutions since 2012. They are very efficient, friendly and provide the best care for your hear solutions needs. I highly recommend them.

Frank E.

Learn More About Cochlear Implants From Our Specialist

Cochlear implants provide a solution for those with severe to profound hearing loss who experience little to no benefit from wearing hearing aids. They are an important tool utilized by North Houston Hearing to help improve the quality of life for the individuals who qualify for them.

If you, or a loved one, would like to learn more about cochlear implants or find out if you qualify, please complete and submit the adjacent form, and our specialist will contact you.

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Dr. Kathryn Crane

Dr. Kathryn Crane, CCC/A, CH-AP, Doctor of Audiology, joined North Houston Hearing Solutions in February 2021. Dr. Crane graduated with a Bachelors in History and a Bachelors in Communication Sciences and Disorders from The University of Texas at Austin and received her Doctorate of Audiology in 2014 from Louisiana State University-Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr. Crane joins North Houston Hearing Solutions after many years at a large ENT practice in the Memorial area of Houston. She has developed significant experience and skills in comprehensive diagnostic audiometry and in the fitting of hearing devices. Though not a native Houstonian, Dr. Crane is a native Texan having grown up in Dallas, Bryan, and Austin. She has lived in Houston since 2013 and considers Houston home.

Dr Lacey has kept me in ears (hearing aids) allowing me to hear without anyone knowing I have hearing aids in place...

“I’ve been coming to North Houston Hearing Solutions for 5 years now. Dr Lacey has kept me in ears (hearing aids) allowing me to hear without anyone knowing I have hearing aids in place. She has been great and the staff has exceeded my expectations”
Robert Bush

I have been a patient of Dr Lacey’s for four years and she has been the best for me...

“I have been a patient of Dr Lacey’s for four years and she has been the best for me. She always treats me with respect. I would not consider going anywhere else. She is friendly and always has my best interest in her mind. All the staff is exceptional aswell”
Dan Payne

I love coming here for doctors visits. Dr Robinson is a great doctor and I enjoy our visits...

“I love coming here for doctors visits. Dr Robinson is a great doctor and I enjoy our visits. As usual she takes good care of us. The hearing aid is great and we are always treated great”
Ronald Novotny

I felt that the audiologist and other staff were always on top of the service I receive...

“I have been coming to North Houston Hearing Solutions since they moved into the new building. Over the years I have purchased several hearing aids. I have only had great service during all the times. I felt that the audiologist and other staff were always on top of the service I receive. From calling to remind me that it is time to check my hearing aid to helping wade through the insurance paperwork, they were always as nice as can be. I would go nowhere else for hearing aids and the service”
Marla Lingle

I have been seeing Dr Lacey Robinson at North Houston Hearing Solutions since November 2014. I have been very happy with the service....

“I have been seeing Dr Lacey Robinson at North Houston Hearing Solutions since November 2014. I have been very happy with the service she and her associates have provided me. She is always willing to help me out even on short notice. I am very happy to have her as my audiologist. She goes the extra mile to ensure I am hearing like I should. Thank you Lacey!”
Daniel Feuerbach

The people in the office are very nice and helpful. I love Drs, they are ready to take care of yo…

“The people in the office are very nice and helpful. I love Drs, they are ready to take care of you even if you don’t have an appointment. I would recommend for anyone who has hearing needs”
Florangela Ceballos

Staff at North Houston Hearing Solutions are amazing. They are always very attentive…

“Staff at North Houston Hearing Solutions are amazing. They are always very attentive. Dr Lacey Robinson always takes the time to set my hearing aids exactly the way I want them. I have been a patient since 2008 and will continue to be for as long as they will have me”
Brian Becvar

Very professional, very friendly, very concerned with your total quality of life…

“Very professional, very friendly, very concerned with your total quality of life. The hearing aids have reduced the stress in my marriage. We can now agree on the volume on the tv”
Dennis Agnelly

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