Skip to Content
UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital
DONATE Donate
SHARE TEXT

Cochlear Implants

Contact Information
 
Audiology at UW Hospital
(608) 263-6190
 
ENT at UW Hospital
(608) 263-6190
A cochlear implant is a device that is surgically implanted into the inner ear and directly stimulates the nerve for hearing.
 
The implant user wears an external microphone and speech processor. Sounds are picked up by the microphone and are carried to the speech processor by a cord:
  • The speech processor then filters, analyzes and digitizes the speech into a coded signal
  • The signal travels back along the cord to the external transmitting coil, which sends the signal through the skin to the internal receiver
  • The internal receiver sends electrical energy to the electrode array inside the cochlea, which stimulates the auditory nerve and travels up to the brain for interpretation

At UW Hospital and Clinics, Cochlear Corporation's cochlear implant system is used.

 

Even with a cochlear implant, the user will still have a hearing loss. The cochlear implant may enable the patient to hear sounds but not understand them. A cochlear implant, like a hearing aid, will be most helpful in a quiet environment. Noisy situations will always make hearing and listening more difficult.

 

Adult Criteria

 

Criteria for adult cochlear implantation at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics include:

  • 18 years or older
  • Severe-profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears
  • Inability to benefit from a hearing aid or other prosthetic device for communication
  • Motivation to incorporate listening in daily communication
  • Patients must not have a medical condition that places them at high risk for surgery
  • Patient must be committed to attending regularly scheduled programming sessions as well as regular aural rehabilitation sessions following cochlear implantation

Criteria for Children

 

Criteria for cochlear implantation in children at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics include:

  • 12 months of age or older
  • Profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears
  • Inability to benefit from a hearing aid or other prosthetic device for communication
  • Parents and/or families of patients must demonstrate a clear motivation to function (or have their child function) within a general community that depends on spoken communication
  • Must be enrolled in an educational program that emphasizes development of auditory and verbal skills
  • Patients must not have a medical condition that places them at high risk for surgery
  • Patients and families must be committed to attending regularly scheduled training, mapping and follow-up sessions following implantation