Skip to content

Brain & Nervous System Health Center

Font Size

Cochlear Implants and Meningitis - Topic Overview

Children who have cochlear implants have a higher risk of getting bacterial meningitis.1 A cochlear implant is a device is implanted in the inner ear to treat severe hearing loss that does not improve with hearing aids.

Experts think one or more factors may put some people with a cochlear implant at higher risk of meningitis than others with an implant. These include people who have:

Recommended Related to Brain & Nervous System

Cerebral Palsy Key to Josh Blue's Act

Many a naysayer told Josh Blue that he couldn't be a comedian. But look who's laughing now. The 28-year-old funny man beat out the competition on the fourth season of NBC's Last Comic Standing, even though, as he puts it, "there are many white male comedians, but not too many with cerebral palsy." Blue's disability is a big part of his act. "Any joke I tell comes from the perspective of someone with cerebral palsy. I can't say things from the point of view of a young black woman," he deadpans...

Read the Cerebral Palsy Key to Josh Blue's Act article > >

  • An abnormally formed inner ear.
  • Had previous meningitis infection.
  • Frequent ear infections.
  • A poorly functioning immune system.
  • Had previous ear or head surgery.

Investigators also are looking at whether the design of the implants contributes to development of meningitis.

To reduce the risk of getting meningitis, people with cochlear implants should get a pneumococcal vaccine (such as the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine(What is a PDF document?) or the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine(What is a PDF document?).1 Also, some people with implants had ear infections before they developed meningitis. For this reason, experts recommend that people with implants receive prompt antibiotic treatment for ear infections.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: December 06, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Cochlear Implants and Meningitis Topics

    Today on WebMD

    nerve damage
    Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
    senior woman with lost expression
    Know the early warning signs.
     
    woman in art gallery
    Tips to stay smart, sharp, and focused.
    medical marijuana plant
    What is it used for?
     
    senior man
    Article
    boy hits soccer ball with head
    Slideshow
     
    red and white swirl
    Article
    Vaccine and needle
    VIDEO
     
    brain illustration stroke
    Slideshow
    nerve damage
    Slideshow
     
    Alzheimers Overview
    Slideshow
    Graphic of number filled head and dna double helix
    Quiz