Cochlear implantation has been offered at North Carolina Baptist Hospital since the 1980's. Cochlear implants are for people with severe to profound hearing loss in both ears who are not receiving sufficient benefit from hearing aids. The cochlear implant is a surgically implanted device that provides individuals with awareness of sounds in the environment and some speech recognition. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its use in adults and children as young as 12 months. There is no upper age limit, though general health must be considered when discussing surgery of any kind.
The cochlear implant consists of two parts, an internally implanted device and an externally worn processor. Typically, only one ear is implanted, although some insurance companies are starting to cover both ears.
The preoperative assessment includes medical, otologic, radiologic, auditory, speech perception, and speech/language evaluations. Other evaluations may be necessary and will be determined by the cochlear implant team.
Initial activation of the external device occurs approximately four weeks following surgery. Subsequent device programming is ongoing and occurs at frequent intervals to ensure optimum functioning. Periodic evaluations are required to monitor progress and plan for rehabilitation and educational needs.
Dr. John May performs cochlear implant surgery for adult patients.
If you think you or someone you know may benefit from a cochlear implant, please call our clinic at (336) 716-3103 to make an appointment for a cochlear implant evaluation.