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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Cochlear Implants

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  • What cochlear implant is the best device for me?

    This is a question to ask both the surgeon and the audiologist. The audiologist will likely have more time to spend with you talking about the device. The Ear Institute of Chicago offers implants from three implant manufacturers: Cochlear Corporation, Advanced Bionics and Med-El. The surgeons and audiologists of the Ear Institute of Chicago will not recommend a specific device for you, but will instead explain the features of each.
    The audiologist will have "dummy" models for you to see and handle. Be sure to try them on your ear with the batteries in so that you can feel the actual weight and judge the comfort. The external processor will be with you day in and day out, so make sure you are comfortable with the technology's look, feel and function.
    Overall hearing results in a testing situation are similar with each of the cochlear implant systems approved for sale in the United States. Some factors to consider include processing strategies, hybrid option, accessory options, water wear options, battery life, type of batteries used, customer service provided by the companies, and warranty.

  • What is the chance of failure of the internal device?

    Overall, cochlear implants are very reliable. Internal device failures can occur but they are rare.

  • Is it possible to preserve the hearing in my implant ear?

    Yes, it is possible to preserve hearing when a cochlear implant is placed. In the past, in most cases, residual hearing was lost as a result of the cochlear implant surgery. With new atraumatic electrode designs, and new surgical techniques, hearing preservation is possible. Hearing cannot be preserved in all cases, however. If hearing preservation is important to you, discuss this option with your physician.