Factors associated with post-implantation outcomes

Statement 11:
Where appropriate, individuals should use hearing aids with their cochlear implant in order to achieve bilateral benefits and the best possible speech recognition and quality of life outcomes.

Statement 12:
Many factors impact cochlear implant outcomes; further research is needed to understand the magnitude of the effects.

Statement 13:
Long durations of unaided hearing loss do not rule  out potential benefit of cochlear implants: individuals who receive an implant in an ear that was previously unaided for more than 15 years have been shown to experience improvements in speech recognition.

Statement 14:
Adults who have undergone cochlear implantation should receive programming sessions, as needed, to optimise outcomes.

These statements will, on an international level, go to creating clinical practice guidelines that will then lead to the standard of care concept that this is, when someone has this level of hearing loss, and this level of difficulty with understanding speech that the cochlear implant is the obvious choice for that person.

I think for an audiologist who’s working with a population of adults with hearing loss, that they’ve been fitting hearing aids and managing their hearing aid care, they recognise when they’ve reached the limits of what they can do. And even before they reach that point, I would hope that people would think about a cochlear implant for an adult.

Associate Professor Holly Teagle, Clinical Director of Audiology and Therapy at The Hearing House in Auckland, New Zealand.

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