Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Who is suitable for a Cochlear Implant?

A Cochlear Implant is suitable for people with a severe to profound hearing loss, who do not benefit from standard hearing aids.

Cochlear Implants are generally most successful for people who have had a relatively short length of deafness. So, children who are born deaf, or are deafened at a young age, benefit from cochlear implantation as early as possible, once they are big enough to have the surgery.

Adults who have become deaf, or whose hearing has worsened to a point where hearing aids are no longer beneficial, also generally do better with a Cochlear Implant.

Adults and children who have been deaf for many years, and who have very little auditory experience (i.e. have not consistently worn hearing aids) tend to take longer to habilitate, and are less likely to hear as well, with a Cochlear Implant as those with a short duration of deafness. This is because the auditory pathways in the brain become fixed as 'non hearing' pathways, and it is difficult for the brain to adapt to hearing and make use of sound in a meaningful way. Cochlear Implants can still benefit this group of people, but they need to be aware that the outcomes will be variable.

Oxford Auditory Implant Programme accepts referrals for children and adults of all ages who are unable or unlikely to benefit from hearing aids.

We are always happy to discuss whether a Cochlear Implant is likely to be suitable for you, or someone you know; please contact us.

If you would like to be assessed for a Cochlear Implant, you should discuss this with your Audiology Department or ENT consultant.

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