Anyone know about cochlear implants?

  1. I was practicing NCLEX questions and I got one about 'who is a good candidate for a cochlear implant'.

    It said 'adults who are born deaf or become deaf before learning to speak are usually not candidates for the surgery'. Is that true? I was just wondering because I have a little neighbor who got hers before speaking, as a toddler, after being born totally deaf (amazingly successful, by the way!

    So anyway, is she just an unusual case & a person like her would not normally be considered a good candidate, or was the NCLEX study information perhaps outdated or ??? (In the question & answer it didn't specify the age of the potential client, the correct answer just said 'a client who became deaf before learning to speak').
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   VickyRN
    Quote from mitchsmom
    I was practicing NCLEX questions and I got one about 'who is a good candidate for a cochlear implant'.

    It said 'adults who are born deaf or become deaf before learning to speak are usually not candidates for the surgery'. Is that true? I was just wondering because I have a little neighbor who got hers before speaking, as a toddler, after being born totally deaf (amazingly successful, by the way!

    So anyway, is she just an unusual case & a person like her would not normally be considered a good candidate, or was the NCLEX study information perhaps outdated or ??? (In the question & answer it didn't specify the age of the potential client, the correct answer just said 'a client who became deaf before learning to speak').
    Who likely would benefit from a cochlear implant?

    People with severe to profound levels of hearing loss (90+ dB in the better ear) yet who have intact eighth nerves. People who cannot benefit from a hearing aid may be good candidates.... Generally, research shows that people who receive an implant relatively shortly after the onset of severe or profound hearing impairment benefit best. The longer the period after onset of hearing loss, the more likely it is that the hearing nerves no longer function well. Also good candidates are individuals who are postlingually deaf (whose age at onset of deafness are 4 or 5 years of age or over). That is because these persons have experience with sound and with speech. They also tend to have well-developed language capabilities.

    Who likely would not benefit?

    Individuals whose eighth nerves are not functioning well (the auditory neurons are damaged) are poor candidates for implants because the cochlear implant needs intact neurons to function. People who became deaf many years before considering an implant are often poor candidates for a cochlear implant. Persons who are prelingually deaf (whose age at onset is at or prior to age 3 or 4) may benefit from a cochlear implant, but typically require much more post-implant training to succeed. Individuals who are not strongly committed to cochlear implants and who do not invest the substantial amounts of time required for post-implant rehabilitation and training will benefit less than will those who do make those post-operative investments.
    http://www.nad.org/site/pp.asp?c=foINKQMBF&b=399061

    Hope this helps
  4. by   mitchsmom
    Thanks. I guess she's an exception to the rule.

    Although after seeing her experience, if I were in the situation I'd definitely go for it despite the negativity regarding the success of a prelingually deaf person in the passage.
    This little girl was totally deaf from birth (and is now without the implant in place... we took her boating one day and she doesn't hear a single thing without it (it can't get wet) and is doing very, very well now as an 8 year old. On meeting her briefly, you may not even realize she started out deaf & has the implant (unless you see it of course...she's got long hair that hides it a little bit sometimes).

    I have to tell myself, keep repeating: NCLEX is not based on the real world, NCLEX is not based on the real world, NCLEX is not based on the real world....
  5. by   Couch30
    Hi! I just thought I would let you know that my nephew is somewhat an exception to the rule. He lost his hearing at 6 months of age related to contracting spinal meningitis. He was actually the youngest patient Arkansas Children's Hospital had done at that time so we were told. He was 2 when he had his cochlear implant done. (He is 16 now.) He has minor "tweaks" done every year to make sure all levels are good and don't need to be adjusted. He is very excited about the one they are in the process of working on. This implant is all placed inside, there is no outside processor, wire, ear piece. This is for the reason you stated earlier, you can't get it wet. Even excessive sweating, his microphone will quit working on him. The batteries are a pain in the butt for him as well. He has adjusted very well. Speaks and hears quite well, it amazes me. We came so close to losing him, and I love him very much. Just thought I'd share his story, because I am a very proud aunt.
  6. by   VickyRN
    Quote from Couch30
    Hi! I just thought I would let you know that my nephew is somewhat an exception to the rule. He lost his hearing at 6 months of age related to contracting spinal meningitis. He was actually the youngest patient Arkansas Children's Hospital had done at that time so we were told. He was 2 when he had his cochlear implant done. (He is 16 now.) He has minor "tweaks" done every year to make sure all levels are good and don't need to be adjusted. He is very excited about the one they are in the process of working on. This implant is all placed inside, there is no outside processor, wire, ear piece. This is for the reason you stated earlier, you can't get it wet. Even excessive sweating, his microphone will quit working on him. The batteries are a pain in the butt for him as well. He has adjusted very well. Speaks and hears quite well, it amazes me. We came so close to losing him, and I love him very much. Just thought I'd share his story, because I am a very proud aunt.
    Wonderful and amazing Thanks so much for sharing
  7. by   llg
    Quote from mitchsmom
    I was practicing NCLEX questions and I got one about 'who is a good candidate for a cochlear implant'.

    It said 'adults who are born deaf or become deaf before learning to speak are usually not candidates for the surgery'. Is that true? I was just wondering because I have a little neighbor who got hers before speaking, as a toddler, after being born totally deaf (amazingly successful, by the way!

    So anyway, is she just an unusual case & a person like her would not normally be considered a good candidate, or was the NCLEX study information perhaps outdated or ??? (In the question & answer it didn't specify the age of the potential client, the correct answer just said 'a client who became deaf before learning to speak').

    Note that your quote said "ADULTS who are born deaf ..." and your neighbor was a toddler. The age of implantation is a key factor. The brain's ability to process sound and acquire auditory language decreases with age. By puberty, it is rare for a person to acquire an auditory/verbal language if they have not had appropriate brain stimulation as a child. Even people with perfect hearing have great trouble acquiring a language if they do not do so before puberty. (e.g. children raised in the wild without other people -- yes, there have been a few documented cases.)

    That's why a child and an adult with the same phyisiological impairment will probably have dramatically different results from a cochlear implant.

    That fact complicates the decision-making for the parents of deaf children. Some Deaf culture advocates argue that to implant a child is cruel ... and that the parents should wait and let the child make his/her own decision when they are old enough to do so. However... by then it is too late to get good results.

    llg

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