Cochlear Implants/Baha


The physicians and audiology staff of Tucson ENT were the first in the state of Arizona to offer this ground-breaking technology to our patients.  The bone anchored hearing devices allow direct inner ear stimulation to overcome conductive hearing loss and single-sided deafness in appropriate patients.  

Bone anchored technologies are applied through an implanted titanium bridge very similar to the widely used dental implant.  The record of safety and efficacy of these devices speaks for itself.  The procedures to place the implant are generally single stage, under an hour in duration, and performed on an ambulatory basis.

Cochlear Implants

Cochlear implants are devices that are surgically placed in the ear canal, providing electrical stimulation to the auditory nerve and allowing those with severe hearing impairments or profound deafness to hear. They are a great alternative for patients who, for one reason or another, can’t benefit from use of a traditional hearing aid.

Understanding How Cochlear Implants Work

CochlearWhile both hearing aids and cochlear implants help restore the sensation of sound to patients with hearing loss, they work quite differently. Hearing aids amplify sounds, allowing those with nerve damage to hear more clearly. Cochlear implants send an electrical signal to the brain, which is converted to sound. Neither cures deafness, but they enable a patient to communicate more easily.

A cochlear implant consists of four main components: a transmitter that is placed behind the ear, a microphone to capture sound from the environment, a speech processor to filter sound and transmit it internally, and a receiver implanted beneath the skin that converts the sound to digital signals that are sent to the brain through a series of electrodes in the cochlea. These electrical impulses pass directly through the auditory nerve to give the patient the perception of sound.

Who are the Best Candidates for a Cochlear Implant?

Many factors are used to determine if a patient is a good candidate for a cochlear implant. An audiologist will take into account the individual’s hearing history, type and cause of hearing loss, degree of hearing loss, ability to recognize speech, age and overall health.

The ideal candidate will have moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears, have a working auditory nerve, possess solid language and communication skills, will have lived at least a short time without hearing, won’t be a surgical risk, and will have realistic expectations about the outcome. All patients should be willing to invest the time and effort into post-implementation therapy, since learning to use cochlear implants takes time and effort.