Your Cochlear Implant Specialists In East Tennessee

Hearing loss affects millions of people of all ages and from every social class on a global scale. The most common solution to help improve hearing is a hearing aid, which helps give those with hearing challenges a boost in their quality of living.

However, there are times when a hearing aid just doesn’t do an adequate job of addressing your hearing loss. In those instances, hearing implants often provide a more effective solution in order to overcome difficult hearing challenges.

Improved hearing clarity and increased natural sound produced by cochlear implants are among the reasons why individuals in Knoxville Park West, Lenoir City, Morristown, and Ft. Sanders might consider these devices to facilitate better communication and better hearing.

Physicians Hearing Care uses electronic implants to elevate speech and language processing for children as young as six to twelve years old on up to teenagers and adults, providing our patients in East Tennessee with some significant benefits.

Cochlear implant technology has been around for 50 years, but few people understand exactly what they are and how they are used to enhance your hearing.

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What Is A Cochlear Implant, And How Does It Work?

An electronic implant, or cochlear implant, is an electronic device used to help compensate for damage in your inner ear that might have been caused by age deterioration, a birth defect, or another cause. They are made of two components, an external processor and an internal electrode, which work together to deliver sound signals directly to the auditory nerve.

Using a simple surgical procedure, the internal electrode is threaded into the cochlea, where it receives digitally processed sound signals from the external processor and transmits them to the auditory nerve, bypassing the auditory system. Implants differ from hearing aids in that hearing aids send processed sounds through the ear canal and the auditory system.

The FDA granted approval for the use of cochlear implants in the 1970s as an advanced tool to facilitate a higher level of hearing clarity for individuals with severe to profound hearing loss. Like cell phones and all other electronic devices, digital technology has greatly improved the processing and performance capacities of hearing implants, making them far more effective than what was possible with early instruments.

Cochlear implants do not cure hearing loss, but when used alongside hearing aids or as a replacement for them, they often provide the right alternative solution to overcome individual hearing loss challenges in those who have experienced limited success using hearing aids.

Cochlear implants doctor with a patient during consultation
Female audiologist holding a cochlear hearing device

More Answers To Your Questions About Cochlear Implants

#1 – What is a bi-modal fitting?

A bi-modal fitting is when a patient wears a traditional hearing aid in one ear and uses a cochlear implant in the other. With today’s digital technology and connectivity capabilities, the two are able to communicate with each other to maximize processing performance and enhance hearing potential.

#2 – Who is a good candidate for a cochlear implant?

Collaboration between your audiologist and a surgeon is critical when it comes to qualifying a person for an electronic implant. Qualifying criteria typically include your level of hearing loss, your capacity to understand speech, the effectiveness of hearing aid use, and your medical history.

#3 – How is cochlear implant surgery done?

Cochlear implant surgery involves making a small incision behind the ear, placing the implant under the skin, and inserting the electrode into the inner ear. Tests are conducted to measure your response to the implant before closing the incision with stitches.

#4 – Are there any risks involved with cochlear implant surgery?

Because general anesthesia is used, the surgery involves risks, which is why your medical history and the possibility of complications are important considerations before cochlear implant surgery. However, there are few, if any, complications involved with the procedure, and only a one-day hospital stay is typical.

#5 – Are additional surgeries needed when new technology becomes available?

The internal electrode, which is surgically implanted, is a pretty basic component. Upgrades usually include technological advancements within the exterior processing unit, making additional surgeries unnecessary when it is time to upgrade your device.

#6 – Can people with cochlear implants swim, shower, and remain active?

A major advantage of electronic implants is your capacity to continue an active lifestyle with few limitations, except for scuba diving and skydiving, which involve intense pressure changes. Users simply remove the external processor to shower or swim and can use protective headgear for more aggressive physical activities.

#7 – How long after being implanted are cochlear implants activated?

Your audiologist will activate your cochlear implant within 4-6 weeks after surgery. The process is gradual, slowly building on each step to introduce more sounds in the successive weeks and months.

#8 – Are cochlear implants covered by Medicare and private insurance?

Medicare and most private insurance cover FDA-approved electronic implants.

Learn More About Cochlear Implants From Our Specialist

Cochlear implants are an advanced alternative solution for individuals who have not experienced adequate hearing improvement from hearing aids when it comes to speech and language development.

Hearing implants are among the most advanced tools we have available at Physicians Hearing Center to help improve the quality of life for those in and near Knoxville.

If you, or a loved one, are interested in finding out more about cochlear implants, you can contact our Lenoir City, Park West, Morristown, Fort Sanders, or Tellico Village location directly, or complete and submit the adjacent form and our specialist will contact you.