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Cochlear implant - outcomes

Outcomes for adults

There is no way of accurately predicting what the sound sensation will be like with the cochlear implant.  We do know that everybody has a different experience and it is important for us to monitor your progress carefully over the first few months of implant use to ensure you are getting the best from your cochlear implant.  Some people find their implant helps with their lip-reading and enjoyment of everyday sounds, others find that they are also able to follow speech without lip-reading, and even use the telephone.  There are all sorts of reasons for this variability, including:

  • How long you were deaf before you received your implant
  • How well your hearing nerve passes sound up to the brain
  • Whether you have any other complex conditions

You can make a difference to the outcome by:

  • Wearing your speech processor every day, from morning until night, so that you get lots of practice
  • Finding good listening/talking opportunities in quiet surroundings, and people to practice with

The WEHIP team will be there to help you through the whole process.

Facts and figures:

  • 99.6% of adult users wear their implant for at least 10 hours per day. 
  • By August 2011, 297 adults had received cochlear implants and 71 had transferred into the programme.  12 adults had required re-implantation following device failure and 1 due to infection.
  • 61 adults were implanted in the last year (Aug 10 - Jul11) at the West of England Cochlear Implant Programme.
  • 87% of adult cochlear implant users correctly identify more than 60% of recorded everyday sounds.
  • All users have gained enhanced lipreading ability.
  • 70% experience improved speech intelligibility.
  • 75% are able to use the telephone.

Cochlear implant outcomes have been compared to a hearing impaired person with a moderate/severe hearing loss using appropriate hearing aids.

Outcomes for children

We cannot predict how well your child will do with their cochlear implant.  Some children learn to listen and talk, others find their cochlear implant helps with their lip-reading, or enables them to enjoy the everyday sounds around them.  Some children make swift progress, others go more slowly.  There are all sorts of reasons for this variability, including things you can't change, such as

  • How long your child was deaf before they had their cochlear implant
  • How well their hearing nerve passes sound up to the brain
  • Whether they have learning difficulties or other complex conditions

However, there are ways in which you can make a big difference, so that your child is able to make the most of what they can hear, including

  • Making sure their speech processor(s) work(s) properly every day
  • Encouraging your child to wear it from when they wake up, to when they go to bed
  • Giving lots of support and good listening/talking opportunities in quiet surroundings

The WEHIP team will be there to help you through the whole process.

Facts and figures:

  • Over 90% of our cochlear implant users wear their implants for at least 8 hours per day. Currently we have 4 children (1.8%) who are non-users.
  • More than 90% of children who have had their implants for 3 years can understand common phrases without lip-reading (as measured by the Categories of Auditory Performance scale).
  • Audit has shown that all implanted children have shown marked improvement in their mean sound thresholds when wearing their implants
  • By August 2015, 262 children had been implanted. 177 children have bilateral implants of which 63% were simultaneous and 37% were sequential surgeries.
  • 14 implants have been removed due to device failures and all those who have chosen to, have been successfully re-implanted.
  • 29 children have transferred in from other centres
  • 23 children were implanted in the financial year 2014/15 (38 devices).