Criteria

Adult candidacy criteria can be identified as a patient who suffers from bilateral, severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss and receives little to no benefit from traditional acoustic amplification. By audiological classification, these patients are 18 years of age and older, who present with a pure tone average (PTA) of at least 70 dB HL and poor monosyllabic word recognition. These preliminary measurements can be both attained and reviewed at your local audiologist's clinic. Upon review and counseling, your audiologist can then recommend your referral to UNC Healthcare for further testing and evaluation for cochlear implantation. There is no upper age limit with respect to a potential adult cochlear implant candidate as we are most concerned about the patient's general/overall health. Lifestyle and health are more important than age!!!

Personal subjective observations of your inability to hear may include:

  • Extreme difficulty hearing and communicating in quiet as well as in noise despite the use of appropriately fit hearing aids.
  • Difficulty communicating over the telephone
  • Dependency on lip-reading for everyday communication
  • Noticeable feelings of loneliness; withdrawing from social activities as a result of your hearing loss
  • You feel like you are always stating: "I can hear you, but I just don't understand what you are saying!!!"

If one or more of these descriptions match your experiences, please call UNC Hospitals at 919-490-3716 to schedule a comprehensive cochlear implant evaluation.