:: Yes! Seniors with Hearing Loss May Be Eligible for Cochlear Implants ::

Yes! Seniors with Hearing Loss May Be Eligible for Cochlear Implants:

As we age, many people lose some hearing since the hair cells carrying sound to our auditory nerve often begin to die. In past generations, elders had to deal with the frustrating isolation and difficulties of worsening hearing. Group environments such as holiday get-togethers or restaurant gatherings became places to avoid. The television volume was cranked up so they could hear but was uncomfortable for other household members. In today’s society, there are many options for people with hearing loss including digital hearing aid technology, state-of-the-art assistive listening devices and cochlear implants.

Seniors often write to me asking for help with their deteriorating hearing loss. Time and again they are surprised to discover that they may be eligible candidates for cochlear implant surgery. Their age alone does not preclude them from this surgery. In fact, if they meet the hearing loss criteria (determined by standardized tests at a cochlear implant center) and are in good health, people in their 70s, 80s and over may be able to have this surgery. Online support groups for adults with cochlear implants are filled with people who opted for one or two cochlear implants despite their age.While not everyone derives the same benefit from the surgery and devices, many report being able to use the telephone, are able to converse better in noisy situations and are learning to enjoy music again.

The Hearing Loss Association of America (formerly SHHH) has issued an excellent, downloadablebooklet specifically for this age group entitled, ‘Cochlear Implants and Seniors: When Hearing Aids Are Not Enough.’This 16 page booklet discusses many of the questions people have about cochlear implants and also explains what types of benefits seniors in particular have been known to receive. It also includes a summary of recent research on cochlear implants.

If you’re a senior with hearing loss, or know someone who is, be sure to send them the link to this helpful brochure or print it out and give it to them. Cochlear implants are already improving the quality of life of thousands of children and adults worldwide.

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