Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Cochlear Implant Program

Back to Ear, Nose and Throat

Department Main Image

Overview

Akron Children's Hospital provides cochlear implant evaluation, treatment and follow-up care to children with severe to profound hearing loss who don't benefit from traditional hearing aids. Our goal is to restore hearing so your child can develop age-appropriate speech and language skills.

A team approach to care.

Our cochlear implant team includes pediatric ENT doctors, audiologists and speech-language pathologists. Together, we give children with severe to profound hearing loss the ability to hear.

About cochlear implants.

A cochlear implant is a device that bypasses the damaged portion of the auditory system and electrically stimulates the auditory nerve in the cochlea. 

The cochlea is a complex structure in the inner ear that gathers electrical signals from sound vibrations and transmits them to the auditory nerve. The auditory nerve then sends these signals to the brain, where they're translated into recognizable sounds. If the cochlea doesn't work properly and the auditory nerve isn't stimulated, there's no way for hearing to occur.

The cochlear implant has 2 components:

  • An internal component that's surgically implanted through a small incision behind the ear
  • An external component that's worn behind the ear like a hearing aid

The external component has a microphone, battery and special processor. It couples with the internal component via a magnet. A wire from the internal component is inserted into the cochlea, where it transmits electrical signals to the auditory nerve so hearing can occur.

Who can benefit from a cochlear implant?

Your child may be a candidate for a cochlear implant if he or she:

  • has severe to profound hearing loss in both ears
  • is at least 12 months old
  • has limited benefits from hearing aids

As soon as hearing loss is identified, your child should be evaluated by our team to determine if he's a good candidate for the procedure. The evaluation may take multiple appointments over an extended period of time to ensure your child can benefit from a cochlear implant and prepare you for the intensive follow-up required for success.

Speech and hearing therapy.

Before and after cochlear implantation, we'll help your child develop listening and spoken language skills. 

Before surgery, your child will wear hearing aids to give her as much auditory stimulation as possible. After implantation, a trained listening and spoken language specialist (LSLS), who is certified in auditory-verbal therapy (AVT) or auditory-verbal education (AVEd), will work with your child on techniques and strategies to help him build speech, language and listening skills.

You'll also play an important role by using strategies at home to enhance your child's speech and language development. Research has shown that when children get their cochlear implants early on, have good parental support and a lot of encouragement at home, they can attain spoken language skills equal to other children who don't have hearing loss.

 

 

Locations/Contact Us

Contact Cochlear Implant Program

330-543-4930

Location Small Image
ENT Center
Akron Children's Hospital Specialty Care
Considine Professional Building
215 W. Bowery St.
Suite 3210
Akron, Ohio 44308-1062
Fax: 330-543-4931
More about this location...
Map & directions

Our Doctors/Providers

Videos

What next?