Cochlear Implant candidacy is a procedure which involves many factors and many individuals, any Individual who is considered at first as a Cochlear Implant Candidate needs to undergo the following procedure:
The Need of CI – Cochlear Implant is usually suggested for children and adults who either have Severe to Profound Hearing loss or have an Unaidable Moderate to Severe sloping Sensory hearing loss. The key word here being Unaidable, wherein the person must be inadequately aided with the conventional hearing aids.
Audiological Evaluation – Audiological Evaluation is carried out to rule out any factors which may contraindicate Cochlear Implantation or may bolster the need of Cochlear Implantation.
Medical Evaluation – Medical Evaluation is the next step wherein an ENT surgeon evaluates the candidate and needs to get Imaging tests such as MRI scan/CT scan to best establish the surgical candidacy of the patient.
Pre-CI counselling – After establishing the candidacy for Cochlear Implantation, the Audiologists have the responsibility to counsel the patient and/or the caregivers of the patient everything there is to know regarding the Cochlear Implantation. An extensive Pre-CI session aims at educating the patient and the caregivers regarding the following:
The Receiving Antenna picks up the electromagnetic signals from the external transmitting coil and transfers it to the receiver which make sense of the electrical signal received and thereafter stimulate the electrode array accordingly. The electrode array stimulates different areas of the Auditory nerve for different types of sounds. The function of the internal magnet is to create a magnetic coupling between the internal and the external components.
Switch On – The Cochlear Implant is not usable the day of surgery, the body needs time to heal the wounds and accept the Implant and not treat it as a foreign body. This usually takes around 21 days. After this, the external part of the Cochlear Implant is connected and switched on for the first time and mapping is carried out to best suit the day 1 hearing levels, which usually can’t be too loud as it may cause discomfort.
Mapping and Therapy – Cochlear Implant Rehabilitation requires extensive mapping and therapy sessions to really provide the best results.
The Internal components of the Cochlear Implant include the following: