Our team surgeon can contact the insurance company directly to request coverage. This is sometimes, but not always, successful. The social worker on the cochlear implant team is also available to provide information on alternative funding sources. In addition, cochlear implant manufacturers have departments designated to deal with this issue.
Hearing aids typically make sounds louder for your child. Hearing aids are often not able to make sounds loud enough for severe to profound hearing losses, as in cases where the cochlea is damaged. A cochlear implant does not make sounds louder, but provides sound directly to the hearing nerve, bypassing the damaged portions of the cochlea.
Cochlear implants are appropriate for children 12 months and older with a severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears.
As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection. It is important that the child’s immunizations are up to date and include Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae vaccines. The cochlear implant surgeon will discuss the surgical risks during your child’s appointment.
The externally worn sound processor (1) of the cochlear implant system looks much like a traditional hearing aid. There is an additional headpiece portion (2) to the device that is not included on hearing aids. The headpiece coil (2) is responsible for sending auditory signals to the internal (implanted) device. Additional pictures and descriptions of the devices can be found on implant manufacturer websites.