Today, families have more choices than ever before when it comes to treating hearing loss in infants and children. One exciting option is cochlear implants, which stimulate the hearing nerve to provide access to sound. Many families seek cochlear implantation when their child is born with little or no hearing or their child’s hearing aids are no longer effective. Cochlear implants can make it possible for young children to acquire speech and language skills and be more comfortable interacting socially with others.

At Phoenix Children’s, the cochlear implant team will help your family decide if this treatment option is a good fit for your child. The team will work with your family as you navigate the journey with hearing loss and the cochlear implant process. All of our services are designed around children and their families and provide the support needed for success with a cochlear implant.

What is a Cochlear Implant?

A cochlear implant can help families who are interested in giving their child sound awareness, speech perception and, in some cases, the potential to communicate with spoken words. A cochlear implant is one choice you have in providing hearing care to your child.

The cochlea is part of the inner ear involved in hearing. A cochlear implant is an electronic device that is surgically implanted into the cochlea to gain a sense of sound. The technology bypasses damaged portions of the ear to deliver signals to the hearing (auditory) nerve. A cochlear implant is different from a hearing aid, which makes sounds louder and benefits children who have some hearing ability.

Cochlear implants may be placed in one ear (unilateral) or both ears (bilateral). The implant has two parts: 

  • An external portion that sits on the skin behind the ear.
  • An internal portion that is placed surgically under the skin above the ear. The internal portion threads into the cochlea to stimulate the hearing nerve. 

The Cochlear Implant team at Phoenix Children’s works with all Food and Drug Administration-approved cochlear implant manufacturers, allowing your family options based on your circumstances. Our team evaluates patients as young as 6 months old for cochlear implants.

A “Total Communication” Approach

Treatment for hearing loss is never one size fits all. At Phoenix Children’s, our team will talk to your family about the wide range of communication strategies available to you and create an individualized plan to help your child communicate. This plan may include listening and spoken language, American Sign Language, augmentative forms of communication or a combination to achieve total communication! Our team will provide you with the information and insight you need to make the best choice for your child and family.