Primary Care clinicians
Adults: With increased opportunity for adults of all ages to benefit from advanced hearing technology—including cochlear implants—primary care physicians have a key role in supporting their patients and their families. If you care for adults, it is likely that there are patients in your practice who are struggling to hear despite using hearing aids and could benefit from a cochlear implant. Age is not a contraindication. Older adults in their 90s may benefit if they meet the candidacy criteria and are healthy. In a routine consultation with patients, you may notice that hearing loss makes doctor-patient communication difficult. Or, with a patient who is experiencing significant communication problems, that individual may come to you first for advice. These resources are intended to provide you with specific information in order to notice, counsel, and refer when you see a patient with disabling hearing loss that may benefit from cochlear implant technology in your practice.
Children: Universal newborn hearing screening has made it possible to begin the process of fitting young children with hearing technology at the earliest possible age thus minimizing language delays. For children born with severe to profound hearing loss who are candidates for cochlear implants, research has shown that the most important determinant of outcome is age of the child at the time of the surgery. Children who receive a cochlear implant at 12 months of age (or even earlier), have the best outcomes and the best opportunity for reaching typical language development milestones by the time they enter school. As the family’s most trusted medical professional, you have a key role in encouraging them to: explore cochlear implantation via the materials provided here; undergo a candidacy evaluation with CI specialists at an appropriate CI center; and talk to other families who have gone through the process.
Information for Primary Care
Cochlear Implant Candidacy for Adults:
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Mail: ACI Alliance
P.O. Box 103
McLEAN, VA 22101-0103