Who gets an implant


The Action On Hearing Loss website has not been available for several weeks. I receive their magazine, and there is an article about a young man, who suffered an irreversible auditory nerve failure. He is a classical guitarist, and I know only too well, that music is never going to sound the same anymore, as I have also a severely damaged auditory nerve.

He now has a cochlear implant, and is able to continue playing, although with a very different way of hearing.

Fourteen years ago, I was told I cannot have an implant, because my auditory nerve was damaged.
So what has changed, and if it has, why has the hospital not given me the option.



I’m a retired RN, so I come at this from a medical perspective, but without audiology training. Patient’s situations are seldom the same even though they occur that way to the patient. I may be wrong, but I don’t think anybody here is going to be able to give you an answer. I’d suggest seeing an ENT if possible and see if you can get your question answered from him or her. @focusandearnit - any chance you can shed some light on this?



I am not a doctor but my sister has nerve damage and was told that an implant would not do her any good. With nerve damage she still would not be able to hear



Did a bit of research and some thinking. Might matter where the auditory nerve was damaged. Also read about ABI (Auditory Brainstem Implant) I still think it would beneficial for you to get explanation from your physician that deals with specifics of your case.



I fully agree never give up without a second or third opinion



First assuming that this: https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/ is the correct Action On Hearing loss, it seems to be working fine for me. You might want to try clearing your browser’s cache or deleting related cookies and see if you can connect.

To your point, in the literature the auditory nerve seems to include everything from the inner hair cells to the brain. In “normal” hearing loss the outer hair cells go first and then at around 60 decibel loss the inner hair cells start to get damaged (which I believe is why the WHO starts severe hearing loss at 60db). So in that way almost everyone with a CI has nerve damage. (I started looking at this when my newest audiologist said I probably have nerve damage and I went wait what?)

Now in things like Auditory Neuropathy, the outer hair cells are fine either the inner hairs are not working or there is a problem further along the auditory nerve. From what I have read sometimes a CI will help and sometimes it won’t and there is no test that will determine if a given person will be among those who receive benefit, research is ongoing.

Having said all that, I will join the chorus of people in saying get a second opinion, and if they say it won’t work, have them explain why they think it won’t work for you.

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I think the OP may be referring to their forum which seems to have been removed from the website a month or two ago. I agree with everyone else to get a new opinion, it may be that technology has moved on but also could be that the person in the article has different hearing loss although it may have been portrayed as being similar to yours, as already mentioned



The guidelines for getting a Cochlear Implant are relatively strict. Here in Australia both ears need to within the profound loss area, not just one. I went for assessment in 2014 when my R ear was still really good, I was rejected. I went again in 2017 and passed with flying colours as I only now have a small amount of residual hearing left. The CI auds need to be able to tell the surgeon that yes, you will get more than 50% or more benefit from the CI. They have told me I will get at least 70% benefit from a CI. These are the guidelines that are followed here in Aus though. Each country could well be different. Ask your Audiologist to refer you off for another assessment at a CI centre near you.

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Thank you all for your replies.
I have a doctors appointment shortly, so will start there.

I was assessed for an implant fourteen years ago. It was a little traumatic, as the speech therapist at the time, thought I was faking my hearing loss. She could not understand why some days I could understand better than others.

The surgeon thought an ABR was too risky, and thought I could manage with hearing aids. All their tests pointed to a damaged auditory nerve, and a CI would not benefit me. So the aids may have got better, but I am still left behind.
Many thanks…



@member68 Good Luck with your Drs appointment.