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Cochlear Implants

A little about cochlear implants  

Many severe to profound hearing losses can be treated very successfully with hearing aids. There are people though who have such extensive damage to their hearing that speech nerves are unable to fire, even when a hearing aid provides them with adequate amplification. This is where a cochlear implant can help.

Generally speaking if you understand less than 50% of speech, even with good quality, correctly chosen and fitted hearing aids, then a cochlear implant is recommended.

Before we jump the gun though, most problems associated with poor speech clarity or understanding while wearing hearing aids are more commonly associated with poor quality or incorrectly fitted hearing aids than actual speech nerve damage.

But if we have ruled out low quality hearing aids or poorly fitted ones, a cochlear implant may be your next step.

how does a cochlear implant work

How does a cochlear implant work?

A cochlear implant works by using electrical impulses to activate the nerves of the inner ear directly. An electrode is surgically implanted into the inner ear and a digital speech processor is either worn on the ear or in a pocket. The speech processor picks up the sound and converts it to an electrical signal. The electrode then electrically stimulates the nerve in the inner ear associated with the sound picked up by the processor.

What features do cochlear implants have?

Most modern Cochlear processors have many of the same features as hearing aids such as:

  • advanced noise management
  • directional microphones
  • telecoils
  • Bluetooth
  • waterproof and dustproof ratings.

Like hearing aids there are several brands of cochlear implants and each have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Clarity can provide any brand to ensure we match you need with the cochlear implant that is best for your hearing outcome.

How much does a cochlear implant cost?

Some providers charge up to $30,000 for cochlear implants. It’s understandable that at that cost there are suddenly many other priorities than your hearing. But Grant Collins, principal audiologist and owner of Clarity Hearing Solutions, believes that the ability to hear is paramount to having an enjoyable and fulfilled life. That’s why Clarity has structured their pricing model for cochlear implants in such a way that, with a combination of Medicare rebates and some private health rebates, you can walk away with cochlear implants for little to no out of pockets.

Read more about our cochlear and implant pricing here.

Bringing cochlear implants to Queensland

Clarity Hearing Solutions have over 30 clinics throughout Queensland including clinics in regional and remote Queensland. In the past you would need to travel to Brisbane for your implant surgery and then back every few weeks for your implant switch-on and mapping.

Clarity now brings that expertise to all our clinics. You do still need to go to a major centre for the initial implant surgery. Clarity have surgeons in Brisbane, Townsville and on the Gold Coast.

After your surgery however, mapping and switch-on of your device can be done locally. You won’t need to travel multiple times if you don’t happen to live in one of these major centres.

The benefits of cochlear implants

Everyone will benefit differently from their implant, but below are some of the experiences implant recipients have found.

  • Adults can benefit immediately and will see continuous improvement for about 3 months after initial tuning sessions. You will continue to get improvement but that improvement will be slower. Remember, you have to train your brain to ‘hear’ in a different way. Some implant recipients say their hearing improves for several years.
  • Your perception of loud, medium and soft sounds improves. Different sounds, such as footsteps, car doors slamming, trains, ringtones, dogs, clocks ticking and so on are deciphered much better.
  • Leave lip-reading behind. Many say they don’t need to try and lip-read anymore to fully understand what is being said. At the very least your cochlear implant will help you lip-read.
  • Watch TV more easily, especially when they can also see the speaker’s face. However, listening to the radio is often more difficult as there are no visual cues available.
  • Make phone calls again. Recognise and understand familiar voices over the phone. Due to the nature of cochlear implants not every recipient will get this benefit.

Make a booking today to discuss how implants can help you.

Request a callback now

Read more about cochlear implants from Clarity:

cochlear implant remotes



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