Cochlear Implant Assessment

If you have a hearing loss, you may have noticed that, despite wearing hearing aids, you still struggle in normal daily life activities. Perhaps you believe your hearing aids are not helping as much as they used to, and you feel that they are not meeting your needs. If so, you might be a candidate for a cochlear implant. Don’t let the word “surgery” scare you from life changing technology.

What is a cochlear implant? A cochlear implant is an implantable hearing device that has the potential to restore hearing. This is a very reliable and established technology that has been used for over 30 years in thousands of patients worldwide, and the hearing results for most adult recipients are life changing.

Cochlear implants have been described in scientific literature as the most successful neuroprosthesis used across health care.

How do I know if I could benefit from a cochlear implant? A comprehensive cochlear implant assessment by an audiologist certified to work with cochlear implants is crucial in the process. Our practice is home to a cochlear implant board-certified audiologist. An audiological cochlear implant assessment starts by evaluating the hearing levels in both of your ears with particular attention given to determine how well you understand spoken language with your hearing aids. The following general criteria are used to determine candidacy for a cochlear implant in adults:

  • Moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss
  • High frequency sensorineural hearing loss (Candidates for Electro-Acoustical Systems)
  • Limited benefit from appropriately fitted hearing aids

During this process, we will assess your current hearing aids’ performance, and we will also test you with hearing aids used in our practice. We will fit and verify performance with real ear measurements to make sure you have the best fitting possible with current hearing aid technology. We will compare your performance with your actual hearing aids and with our demonstration hearing aids to help determine if changing technology is more what you need.

The next steps: If you meet hearing (audiological) criteria for cochlear implantation and are interested in pursuing it, we will complete your evaluation process by referring you to an ear surgeon who specializes in cochlear implants. During that visit, you will undergo an evaluation from a medical and surgical perspective. This usually involves an interview with the surgeon, a detailed ear examination, and eventual acquisition of radiologic images of your ears. If the surgeon agrees that you are a good candidate for a cochlear implant, there will also be a detailed discussion about the process of surgery, including associated risks and recovery.

Choosing a device: Once you complete this entire process and you have all the information needed to make an informed decision, we will help advise you regarding the various cochlear implant devices that are available. We will also let you know if you could benefit from bimodal hearing (cochlear implant in one side and a hearing aid in the opposite ear). We hold cochlear implant information sessions on a regular basis. Please contact us by email or call 312-643-0717 and find out when the next information session will be.

Cochlear Implant Mapping/Programming:

If you are an established cochlear implant user seeking an appointment for mapping/programming and audiological services, our team conducts cochlear implant follow-up sessions where we test your internal and external devices, assess your speech perception in quiet and in noise, and recommend any adjustments needed. For more information on cochlear implant devices and follow-up, please contact us at or call our office for an appointment. We also conduct information sessions on assistive devices such as remote microphones, connectivity and phone accessories.

If you are a BIMODAL user (cochlear implant and hearing aid in the non-implanted ear) we can help program both devices, and provide follow-up services in the convenience of our location in downtown Chicago.