What is a Cochlear Implant Evaluation?
A cochlear implant evaluation assesses the patient’s speech processing abilities with hearing aids in a variety of environments. This appointment can take 1-2 hours to complete. The settings in the patient’s current hearing aids are checked via real ear measures or REMs. REMs are the gold standard test to verify if the hearing aid is providing adequate sound output based on the patient’s hearing loss. Both the patient’s hearing aids, and a set of DEMO hearing aids, will be utilized for testing. Using both sets will rule out the possibility that a new hearing aid would resolve any difficulty with the clarity of speech. The overall purpose of this evaluation is to see if hearing aids are the best option to treat the patient’s loss. The patient is asked to listen to speech in quiet and in noise then the amount of speech understood during testing is recorded. If the patient’s scores are low enough then they could be considered an audiologic candidate.
Cochlear implantation requires audiologic clearance and medical clearance. As a surgical solution, a prospective patient will need to consult with a physician at the surgical site to determine if they are a medical candidate. Prior to surgery an MRI, comprehensive balance assessment, and updated vaccinations will likely be recommended and completed. All questions and determinations for medical candidacy would be referred to the surgeon completing the procedure. Interdisciplinary communication is a key component to the cochlear implant journey.
Check back tomorrow for I Am an Audiologic and Medical Candidate, What’s Next?