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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 boasts the only comprehensive, multi-disciplinary cochlear implant team in the state and is a 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 Arkansas Children’s 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 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? 

Children: 12 months to 17 years

  • Severe or profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears
  • Receives poor or no benefit from appropriately-fit hearing aids
  • Lack of progress in the development of auditory skills
  • High motivation and realistic expectations from family

Adults:  18 years and older

  • Severe or profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears
  • Receive poor or no benefit from appropriately-fit hearing aids
  • Poor aided speech perception with appropriately-fit hearing aids
  • High motivation and realistic expectations from the patient and family

The Cochlear Implant Team consists of the following:

  • Audiologist
  • Speech-Language Pathologist
  • Cochlear Implant Surgeon
  • Social Worker and/or Psychologist
  • Parents, school, additional therapists and others