My Baby a Candidate for a Cochlear Implant?
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criteria for determining who can benefit from cochlear implants
have changed a great deal since the devices were first introduced.
Currently, cochlear implants are approved by the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) for children 12 months of age
Criteria for Cochlear Implantation
- In general, it is recommended that
a child be appropriately fit with hearing aids and use
them for 3-6 months before determining implant candidacy.
In cases of meningitis, a shorter hearing aid trial may
be recommended or the trial may be waived as bony growth
in the cochlea following meningitis may create problems
for implantation. In a few cases of meningitis, the physician
may proceed with implantation prior to the child reaching
12 months of age. This is to insure adequate insertion
of the electrodes into the cochlea, before the bony growth
fills the cochlea.
- Degree of hearing loss
Children between 12 months and 18 months of age: Profound,
sensorineural hearing loss of 90 decibels or greater in
18 months of age and older:Severe-to-profound sensorineural
hearing loss of 70 decibels or greater in both ears
To learn more: What
is an Audiogram?
- Lack of benefit from appropriately
set hearing aids
Examples of this would include:
Inconsistent response to his/her name in quiet
Failure to alert to environmental sounds while wearing
- No medical contraindications
Included in the list of contraindications are things such
as an absence of the auditory nerve; medical conditions
or developmental delays that would severely limit participation
in aural habilitation; and active middle ear infections.
- Children should be in a rehabilitative
or educational setting where the development of auditory
(listening and speaking) skills is emphasized. Rehabilitative
or educational environments that encourage auditory skill
development are likely to have a positive effect on the
language progress in children.
- High motivation, positive
family environment, and realistic expectations are all
important factors in a child's performance with the cochlear