Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Cochlear Implants a Success for Once-Deaf Kids

Most Once-Deaf Children Still Hear 10-13 Years After Implants

Next: What Are the Keys to Cochlear Implant Success?

Mattox, reflecting a surgeon's caution, says it's impossible to predict how well an individual patient will hear after getting a cochlear implant.

"We do need to communicate with patients to make sure their expectations are reasonable," he says. "This is not a brand new ear. But it is tremendously beneficial to many, many people. The exact results in a given patient are unpredictable. We do have adult patients who talk on the telephone the day after they get the implant. Some people don't achieve those levels, and we don't know why."

Madell says there's nothing wrong with high hopes -- providing children and their parents are willing to work hard for success.

"We expect outstanding results," she says. "I believe there is virtually nobody who doesn't do well with cochlear implants if they are managed appropriately."

Madell notes that cochlear implants in both ears give much better results than single-ear implants. Even so, she stresses proper management. That has three components:

  • Fine-tuning. Madell's center sees each patient 10-12 times, making sure the implants are "mapped" to get the right frequency for each component of spoken language.
  • Good therapy. Emphasizing listening to spoken language rather than lip reading or sign language.
  • Involved parents. "Even more important is the need for a parent or caregiver who will participate in therapy and do it at home," Madell says. "Somebody needs to talk to this child every waking minute."
1 | 2

Today on WebMD

preschool age girl sitting at desk
look at my hand
woman with cleaning products
young boy with fever

worried kid
boy on father's shoulder
Child with red rash on cheeks
girl thinking

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

WebMD Special Sections