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Are Cochlear Implants Right for Me?

Who is a good candidate for a cochlear implant?

Hearing plays a vital role in living a happy, healthy life. But more people face hearing loss than ever before. Left untreated, it can make it hard to fully connect with family, friends, and the world. 

The good news? There is hope. 

You’re not alone

Nearly one out of every three people over age 65 is affected by disabling hearing loss.1 This means there is a large group of people, just like you, who have met their hearing loss head-on.  

Hearing science and technology has improved so much in recent years. Know that there’s a solution for any type and degree of hearing loss. And there is no age limit for adults to get cochlear implants.

Nearly 5% of the world’s population experiences hearing loss


Understanding hearing loss


graph showing a range of hearing

The ear is responsible for collecting sounds and sending them to the brain. Hearing loss happens when there is abnormality or damage anywhere along this path. For most people, the problem is in the inner ear (or cochlea), where sound is sent to the hearing nerve. 

When you take a hearing test, your ability to hear different sounds is shown on an audiogram. The audiogram helps your hearing care professionals find the best treatment options for you.

For people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, hearing aids can be a great help. Hearing aids work by making the sounds around you louder. 

When your hearing loss is severe or profound, hearing aids may no longer be enough. This degree of hearing loss may need a more advanced solution, such as a cochlear implant. 

More than 324,200 people across the world have cochlear implants.


Who is a candidate for a cochlear implant?

If you already wear hearing aids, you might hear better with a cochlear implant if any of the following is true: 

“I can hear, but many times I can’t understand what they’re saying.”

“I still have problems following conversations without lip reading.” 

“I hear pretty well in quiet environments, but still have problems in noisy environments or when in a group.” 

“I still don't hear well on the phone, especially if I don’t know the person calling.” 

“I still feel alone and limited because of my hearing loss.” 


Are you still deaf if you have a cochlear implant?

Cochlear implants do not allow deaf people to hear in the same way as people without hearing loss. Instead, a cochlear implant sends tiny electrical signals directly to the hearing nerves and onto the brain to be interpreted as sound. For many people who are deaf or have significant hearing loss, cochlear implants can help them carry on conversations, use the phone, and enjoy music. For young children, cochlear implants can help them learn speech and language.


Rebecca Alexander, author, advocate, psychotherapist, talks about taking the step from hearing aids to cochlear implants.



  1. World Health Organization, Key Facts, Deafness and Hearing Loss. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss