As cochlear implant and bone conduction implant technology improves over time, so too is candidacy criteria changing. This means many people with significant hearing loss may now gain greater benefit from a cochlear implant or bone conduction implant than they might otherwise gain from conventional hearing aids.
Advances in cochlear implant and bone conduction implant technology and clinical evidence supporting the benefit of hearing with two ears means it may also be a suitable treatment option for people with Single-Sided Deafness (SSD).
Cochlear Implant Referral Guidelines
A cochlear implant may be a suitable option if your client has a moderate-to-severe or worse hearing loss in at least one ear. It may also be a suitable treatment option for people with Single-Sided Deafness.
Likewise, an electroacoustic implant may be of benefit if your client has a steeply sloping, mid-high frequency hearing loss with good preservation of low frequency hearing in at least one ear.
Your client must gain limited benefit from conventional hearing aids as indicated by:
- Poor aided speech discrimination
- Reliance on lipreading
- Mishearing or incorrectly responding to questions
- Avoiding noisy situations and withdrawing from social occasions
- Turning the TV up louder than others may require and/or relying on subtitles
- Feeling stressed and annoyed from straining to hear or being unable to easily understand speech
- Feeling anxious about meeting new people or entering in to situations where you anticipate it will be difficult to hear
The audiogram below depicts referral guidelines for cochlear implants and electroacoustic implants. Your client’s air conduction thresholds need to fall within the yellow shaded region.
Bone Conduction Implant Referral Guidelines
A bone conduction implant may be a suitable option if your client has a conductive hearing loss of at least 30dB that is unsuitable for surgical repair, or Single-Sided Deafness.
Your client must also be unable to consistently use conventional hearing aids.
The audiogram below depicts referral guidelines for bone conduction implants. Your client’s bone conduction thresholds need to fall within the yellow shaded region.
While age is not a precluding factor for hearing implant technology, your client must be medically fit to undergo a general anaesthetic, have the ability to learn new skills and have realistic expectations of the device.
To find out more about how SACIC can help your client please contact us.
Referrals can be made online or via email, fax or mail.