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Having a Cochlear Implant : Assessment

Patients undergo assessment to establish candidature for cochlear implantation. This entails at least two visits to the hospital. Children also receive home/school visits.

A wide range of tests and investigations are carried out. These include audiometric tests, hearing aid evaluation, physiological measurement, CT/MRI, assessments of general health, cognitive ability, communication and language. These investigations are usually carried out over a two day period. Overnight accommodation is provided at the hospital in one of two family apartments. Most children are admitted to the paediatric ward for part of their assessment as they are sedated / anaesthetised for Evoked Response Audiometry and CT/MRI examination.

Some patients are assessed over a longer time period (6 months to 2 years). This includes patients with special needs, patients with deteriorating hearing losses and patients undergoing hearing-aid trials. Their progress is reviewed at regular intervals.

Child having hearing assessed (left) and woman checking results on computer (right)

Counselling will be given so that the proposed implantee and their family will know what to expect from the implant. They will also be given the opportunity to meet with other cochlear implant users and their families. Where children are old enough, they will participate fully in the decision.