Cochlear Implants for Adults with Severe Deafness
Adults who go deaf in both ears after acquiring speech and language benefit tremendously from cochlear implants.
These adult patients are often referred to as postlingually deafened.
These adult patients typically do not benefit from hearing aids no matter how powerful. Since the centre in the brain for assimilating speech and language is well established, such adults find the transition much easier.
Rehabilitation is easier and takes less time. Postlingually deaf patients can also hear and answer telephone calls. They are able to converse correctly and appropriately on the telephone.
They benefit from cochlear implants in both ears. Directionality and understanding speech and language in a noisy environment is good.
It has been found that elderly postlingually deaf persons who are going through dementia experience improvement in cognition, behaviour and mood following cochlear implantation.
As time goes by indications for cochlearimplantation gets redefined. Conditions like cholesteatoma which were contraindications are no longer contraindications.
Cochlear implants , in modern literature, have been found to delay the onset of Alzheimers disease.
Modern medical literature suggests that adult cochlear implantees may need to have more than one cochlear implant inserted during their lifetime. This. is because the device may experience “wear and tear (fatigue)”. The results of revision surgery are good and the cochlear implantee continues to benefit from the device all through their lives.
Newer cochlear implant devices not only stimulate the cochlea nerve endings electrically but acoustically as well. These newer innovations hold promise for better hearing outcomes for cochlear implantees.