Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
About Cochlear Implants
What is a cochlear implant?
A cochlear implant is an electronic device that directly stimulates the
hearing nerve to provide sound perceptions, such as the sounds of speech
and environmental sounds. Usually, people hear more sounds more
comfortably with a cochlear implant than they do with hearing aids.
There are two parts of a cochlear implant, one part is surgically placed by
a doctor who is an ear specialist, and the other part is worn outside the ear.
Who pays the cost for a cochlear implant?
Many insurance plans and third-party providers (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid)
cover cochlear implant costs. Check with your cochlear implant center
about specifics.
Does a cochlear implant make me hearing?
No, the cochlear implant does not make deaf people hearing. Rather, it is
a tool to give you access to more sounds.
Sound Processor
What is the surgery like? Where does the implant go?
The internal part of the cochlear implant (the receiver) is placed under the
skin just above and behind your ear and rests on the skull bone. An electrode
array, which looks like a thin wire, is inserted into the inner ear. Through the
electrode, sound information is sent to the hearing nerve. Nothing is inserted
into the brain, and no part of the brain is exposed or touched during surgery.
Surgery is relatively simple and minimally invasive. In most cases, this surgery
can be done on an outpatient basis.
Platinum Series™
Sound Processor
Does the cochlear implant make your nerves move other
parts of your body?
No. The cochlear implant only stimulates the hearing nerve to give you
access to sound. Your body does not act like a robot when you use a
cochlear implant.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
About Cochlear Implants
Can I still go swimming and get my hair wet
with a cochlear implant?
Yes! Just as you would remove your hearing aids, you would take off the
outside components (the processor and headpiece) before going swimming
or getting your hair wet.
Can I still play sports after getting a cochlear implant?
Yes! You can participate in sports with a cochlear implant. It is also possible
to wear protective headgear such as helmets.
Can I have an X-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan
if I have a cochlear implant?
Yes! These procedures can be safely done with your cochlear implant.
You should take off your external parts (processor and headpiece).
Can I have a MRI if I have a cochlear implant?
Yes, with restrictions. The HiRes 90K® cochlear implant internal device has
a magnet that can be removed so that you can go through certain MRI
machines. If you need to have a MRI, discuss your options with your CI center.
My hearing aid(s) did not help me very much.
Will a cochlear implant be better?
It is difficult to predict how each person will do with a cochlear implant,
because everyone is different. During the cochlear implant evaluation,
the audiologist and/or cochlear implant surgeon can discuss realistic
expectations with you.
Can I learn more about cochlear implants?
Yes! Contact the Bionic Ear Association at Advanced Bionics
by email: [email protected]
or phone: (800) 678-2575; (800) 678-3575 (TTY).
Contact the Advanced Bionics Insurance Reimbursement Department for inquiries on coverage:
(877) 779-0229 (V), (800) 678-3575 (TTY), [email protected]
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