Do individuals who experienced deafness during early childhood benefit from cochlear implantation as adults?
In the early years of cochlear implantation and throughout the 1990s, adults who had experienced early deafness (either born deaf or having lost hearing during early childhood), were generally considered unsuitable candidates for cochlear implantation. This perspective was guided by research on children. Research demonstrated the significant impact of a child's age at implantation; children implanted at a younger age, on average, have better outcomes. The expectation was also driven by outcomes of adult CI recipients who lost their hearing as adults, findings which have consistently demonstrated diminished outcomes with longer duration of hearing loss among the population whose hearing loss was within the CI candidacy range.