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Having a Cochlear Implant : Learning to Listen

Most adults receive immediate benefit from a cochlear implant as they have had recent experience of hearing. It can take time to reawaken memories of speech and sounds from the past and auditory training can be helpful.

Child learning to listenFor children, the situation is different. Many are born with a profound hearing loss and have had no previous experience of speech or hearing. The cochlear implant gives them the potential to develop spoken language. The sound sensation only becomes meaningful through time by increased auditory awareness and spoken language exposure.

Congenitally deaf children are normally implanted before the age of 5 years to enable them to achieve their full potential with the implant. Younger children usually progress at a faster rate. This is because the brain learns to interpret sound most effectively in the first few years of life.