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Cochlear Implants

Advances in technology allow many with the most profound deafness to access sound through a cochlear implant. A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides direct stimulation to the auditory nerve, bypassing the damaged or absent hair cells in the inner ear. Arkansas Children’s Hospital boasts the only comprehensive, multi-disciplinary cochlear implant team in the state and is the leader in pediatric cochlear implants in the region. The cochlear implant program involves in depth hearing evaluations, a detailed assessment of listening skills, and opportunities to interact with other cochlear implant recipients.

If confirmed as a candidate for this technology, patients will benefit from thorough post-implant audiological follow-up and therapy from our multidisciplinary team. This requires appointments at ACH to program or “map” the cochlear implant speech processor to fit the patient’s individual needs or preferences. Aural habilitation/rehabilitation therapy focuses on teaching patients how to functionally use the sound from the cochlear implant.

The ACH Cochlear Implant Program also offers services to adults in conjunction with UAMS, as one of the only departments in the hospital to provide services to those over the age of 21.

Who is a Candidate for a Cochlear Implant?

  • Young children: 12 months to 2 years
    • Profound sensorineural hearing loss (nerve deafness) in both ears
    • Lack of progress in development of auditory skill with hearing aid or other amplification
    • High motivation and realistic expectations from family
    • Other medical conditions, if present, do not interfere with cochlear implant procedures
  • Children: 2 to 17 years
    • Severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss (nerve deafness) in both ears
    • Receive little or no benefit from hearing aids
    • Lack of progress in the development of auditory skills
    • High motivation and realistic expectations from family
  • Adults: 18 years and over
    • Severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears
    • Receive little or no useful benefit from hearing aids
    • Qualified candidates are those scoring, with a hearing aid, 50 percent or less on sentence recognition tests in the ear to be implanted and 60 percent or less in the non-implanted ear or bilaterally.

The Cochlear Implant Team consists of the following:

  • Audiologist
  • Speech-Language Pathologist
  • Cochlear Implant Surgeon
  • Social Worker
  • Parents, school, additional therapists, etc.

Clinic Phone:


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