Washington University Physicians Logo
St Louis Ear Logo
Phone Gallery Mobile Site Facebook You Tube


News News Interview

Sometimes hearing aids are not enough. Hearing aids can only amplify sounds and send them to the inner ear. In the case of severe or profound hearing loss this may make the sound louder but does not improve the ability to understand due to damage occurring in the inner ear.

A cochlear implant bypasses the damaged parts of the inner ear by stimulating auditory nerve fibers directly. A cochlear implant is an electronic device that is surgically implanted in the inner ear that works in conjunction with external equipment worn behind the ear.

Although cochlear implants do not restore natural hearing, most individuals with cochlear implants have achieved significant gains in sound awareness and speech understanding.

Cochlear implants have been approved for those with a moderate-to-profound hearing loss in both ears, who receive limited benefit from hearing aids. If there are no medical contraindications candidates of any age may be implanted.

The Center for Hearing and Balance Disorders provides comprehensive cochlear implant care. The Centers Implant Program offers:

- Candidacy evaluations
- Surgery and follow-up care
- Cochlear implant activation and programming
- Aural rehabilitation services

Is a cochlear implant right for you?

If you decide to investigate further, the next step is a clinical evaluation to determine candidacy. You will also receive further information about what happens during the implant process.

The cochlear implant program at the Center for Hearing and Balance Disorders has been recognized by the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. In May 2006, they awarded us a grant for fellowship training in the area of cochlear implants. This grant will enable the Center to expand our patient care efforts, as well as research in the area of cochlear implants and hearing loss.

Cochlear implants are covered under most insurance policies, including Medicare. The Center's skilled team is available to assist with determination of insurance benefits.