For those who don’t benefit from hearing aids, these might be the solution you’ve been waiting for

What Are Cochlear Implants And Who Are They For?

by | Mar 8, 2022 | Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss, Patient Resources, Technology

Although cochlear implants have been around since the ’70s, the recent strides they have made are more impressive than ever.

Our experts at North Houston Hearing Solutions have the expertise to treat any level of hearing loss that local residents experience challenges with. To ensure we provide the widest range of solutions, we now offer cochlear implants at our clinic in Spring, Texas.

While cochlear implants may not be the solution for everyone, it’s often overlooked as a treatment option since most hearing care professionals primarily provide hearing aids.

Before getting a cochlear implant, it’s vital to find out if you are a candidate and if they will be the right solution for your hearing needs. In summary, cochlear implants are typically for those with a severe to profound hearing loss.

The only way to determine your hearing loss level is through a comprehensive hearing assessment.

Once we have your test results, we can develop a plan for your hearing that may involve cochlear implants.

Cochlear Implant vs. Prescription Hearing Aid

Cochlear implants require a short surgical procedure to implant the receiver just under your skin. It’s this component that sends sound signals directly to your cochlear and then to the brain for processing.

Cochlear implants can be more effective than prescription hearing aids in certain situations because it bypasses the ear canal and transmits sounds as an electrical signal rather than amplifying sound like a hearing aid.

Prescription hearing aids can be more discrete and can help those with a severe hearing loss as well. However, cochlear implants are used when hearing aids can no longer provide an adequate solution.

Who Benefits Most From Cochlear Implants?

People who have suffered from a hearing loss over the long term will be the best cochlear candidates. These are meant as a second option if hearing aids are not sufficient enough for a certain type and severity of hearing loss.

Due to the damage incurred throughout someone’s ear, cochlear implants may be needed to turn the sound signals into electrical signals to be processed easier by the brain.

Even the most advanced hearing aids still rely on hearing the signal they send; if your ear cannot do that, then cochlear implants may be the answer.

What Does Cochlear Surgery Entail?

This relatively simple procedure lasts between two to four hours, and most patients will be given general anesthesia. It is performed by a surgeon and is only a one-day operation.

The implant is a tiny receiver placed just behind the ear with electrodes running down to the cochlear. This apparatus is minimal and will likely not need to be adjusted or replaced. The processor on the outside may require upgrades as more advanced technology becomes available.

Unlike prescription hearing aids, it can take up to six weeks for your cochlear implants to be activated post-surgery.

This ensures you are fully healed and that all the components are operating correctly. Your audiologist will assist you with getting them up and running. They will also help you with adjusting and getting comfortable.

In most cases, your audiologist will start slowly with low-volume simple sounds. This is to ensure your brain processes the sounds correctly and in a timely manner.

As the sounds become clearer to you, they can make the proper adjustments, and you will be all set with your new hearing.

What Are The First Steps Toward Getting Cochlear Implants?

The first step is to have a comprehensive hearing assessment done by one of our doctors of audiology. This painless and non-invasive test will give us all the data we need to know exactly what is happening with your hearing.

Armed with this information, we can determine if cochlear implants are the right procedure for you or if you would benefit from another solution.

Offering cochlear implants is just one way we assist the residents of Northern Houston. We are prepared and have the experience to improve your hearing through various avenues, whichever one works best for your unique situation.

If you have any further questions, please call us anytime, as we are always standing by to lend a helping hand.

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Dr. Lacey Brooks, CCC-A, FAAA - Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Lacey Brooks received a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry in 2003, and earned her Doctorate of Audiology in 2009. She completed her clinical internships and residency at various facilities within Houston Medical Center. Dr. Brooks is a preferred provider for the American Institute of Balance (ABI), a professional member of the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), a member of the Texas Academy of Audiology (TAA) and is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She is also the vice president of the Louisiana State University Houston Chapter Alumni Association. In addition to her years of experience identifying, diagnosing and treating all types and degrees of hearing loss, and vestibular disorders, Dr. Brooks has spent the last 13 years becoming an expert in Tinnitus management and therapy. Dr. Brooks is also one of the few providers in the country certified for Lyric Implantable Devices. For over seven years, Dr. Brooks successfully ran and operated more than six audiology clinics for one of the largest practices in the state of Texas before joining the North Houston Hearing Solutions team in 2016. Dr. Brooks prides herself on providing her patients with the highest quality of care. She loves her patients dearly and feels so fortunate that she gets to help improve their daily lives. This love, combined with her impressive skill set, business experience and passion for helping people hear has made Dr. Lacey Brooks a wonderful addition to the North Houston Hearing Solutions’ team. When not at the office, Dr. Brooks enjoys spending time with her daughter, husband, family, and friends. Dr. Brooks is also very involved in her church and with mission work in her community and abroad.

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