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Who Can Get A Cochlear Implant?

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Cochlear implants are surgically placed medical devices that treat hearing loss. For many people with hearing loss, they work better than hearing aids. When should you think about getting a cochlear implant for your hearing loss?

Cochlear Implants Vs. Hearing Aids: What’s The Difference?

If you wear hearing aids but still have trouble watching t.v., speaking on the phone or talking to someone without being able to see their face, a cochlear implant may be appropriate for you. People with these types of hearing difficulties go through special testing to see whether or not cochlear implantation would be good for them.

The first step in testing is to measure the current level of hearing loss. If hearing aids are not enough to improve a patient’s hearing, the patient will undergo a cochlear implant evaluation and special testing. The results from the tests are then compared to FDA criteria for cochlear implantation.

Sometimes, tests reveal that hearing aids are the best option, while other times they reveal that a cochlear implant is better. How is this determined? The general guide for an adult is someone with moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears and less than 50 percent ability to understand while wearing appropriately fit hearing aids is a cochlear implant candidate. 

For children, guidelines depend on age and hearing loss history. Generally, a child who has severe-to-profound hearing loss and trouble learning to speak would be a candidate.

At Arizona Hearing Center we assess both children and adults for cochlear implantation. If you think you or someone you know may be a candidate for this technology or if you have other questions about hearing loss, please schedule an appointment with our office. Contact us by phone at 602.307.9919 or by email at

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