Understanding Hearing Loss

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Cochlear Implants

A child with a severe to profound hearing loss will be offered an assessment for a Cochlear Implant. A Cochlear Implant is a different type of amplification. It has two parts, the implant which is surgically implanted under the skin and the audio processor which is worn externally.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has provided the following criteria for candidancy for cochlear implantation.

In this video, ENT surgeon Professor Simon Lloyd explains what a cochlear implant is and answers many questions often raised by parents considering cochlear implantation.


    The NDCS has written a guide about Cochlear Implants for families.






    'Cochlear Implants Basics' is a fact sheet providing families with basic information about what a cochlear implant is and how it works. It is part of a Tools for Toddlers pack developed by Advanced Bionics.




Your local audiology department will be able to refer your child for a full assessment if they meet the criteria for cochlear implantation.

The following companies provide cochlear implants for children. Their websites will provide more information.



The 'My Cochlear Implant' section of the Connevans website provides information about accessories and spares for different processors from the 3 companies above.



There are different wearing options for very young children and this will be explained by the Cochlear Implant centre. A Cohlear Implant needs to be worn all waking hours so that a child can learn to listen and make sense of new sounds. It is important that daily checks are carried out to ensure that the device is on the correct setting, the batteries are fitted correctly and working and leads between the coil and speech processor are connected. The Cochlear Implant team will provide advice on daily checks for the specific make and model of implant.


Auditory Brainstem Implants
An Auditory Brainstem Implant may be considered if cochlear implantation is not possible due to a missing/damaged cochlea or nerve of hearing.


Middle Ear Implants
A middle ear implant is for conductive and sensorineural hearing loss when no benefit is derived from a conventional hearing aid. It consists of an external processor and a surgically implanted device under the skin. This video provides more information about the SOUNDBRIDGE middle ear implant system.



Advanced Bionics (2018) Cochlear Implants Basics [Online] Available at: https://advancedbionics.com/content/dam/advancedbionics/Documents/libraries/Tools-for-Toddlers/tools-for-parents/tfs-cochlear-implant-basics-brochure.pdf [Accessed: 14 February 2021]

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (2018) The Auditory Brainstem Implant Manchester Royal Infirmary [Online] Available at: https://mft.nhs.uk/app/uploads/2019/01/ABI-2018-version-CM14865.pdf [Accessed: 20 February 2021]

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2019) 'Cochlear implants for children and adults with severe to profound deafness.' [Online] Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ta566 [Accessed: 13 February 2021]

NDCS (2020) Cochlear implants: for families [Online] Available at: https://www.ndcs.org.uk/information-and-support/childhood-deafness/hearing-implants/cochlear-implants/ [Accessed: 13 February 2021]