Frequently Asked Questions and Family Resources

An audiology booth is used to test the hearing of infants and children after receiving a cochlear implant.

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Cochlear Implant: Frequently Asked Questions

What is a cochlear implant?

A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted device that provides a sense of sound to a patient who is deaf or hard of hearing.

Who is a cochlear implant candidate?

Adults and children who meet the FDA criteria for implantation and who are healthy enough to undergo surgery are cochlear implant candidates.

How long have cochlear implants been available?

Cochlear implants have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration since 1985 for adults and 1990 for children.

Will a cochlear implant restore normal hearing?

No. Although a cochlear implant will provide a sense of hearing to a patient it does not "cure" hearing loss. The patient will need to learn to listen and use the electrical stimulation for communication. Speech and language will take time and experience to develop. Auditory verbal training and therapy can help patients develop the needed listening skills to get the most benefit from his or her implant.

Will my child receive one implant or two?

One cochlear implant can provide the child with access to sound. Two cochlear implants will improve the ability to hear speech in noise and help with localization (knowing what direction sounds are coming from). Most children will receive one implant to start, unless there is a medical reason for obtaining two. Once the first implant is being used successfully, we will discuss implanting the second ear if appropriate.

Can the implant be worn while playing sports?

In most cases, yes. Contact sports, however, are not recommended. Some devices are waterproof as well, but make sure you ask your audiologist if the device you have chosen may be used in the water. Deep water diving is not recommended as it may harm the implanted device.

Can the processor be removed at night?

Yes. The processor should always be removed while sleeping/at night to let the scalp rest and to charge the processor’s batteries. The processor should be stored in a dry-n-store container (this will be provided) to remove moisture.


Download the PDF for more information on our Cochlear Implant Center at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital:

Patient & Parent Information

Cochlear Implant Steering Committee

The Cochlear Implant Center at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital understands how difficult it may be for patients and families to cope with a diagnosis of hearing loss. For this reason, many of our patients and families have come together to form a steering committee and support group to help each other and guide new families along the path from diagnosis to cochlear implantation and beyond.

Please contact us if you would like to speak with one of our patient/family ambassadors.

Call us to learn more about cochlear implants:


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