Orange County Cochlear Implant Institute™

Hope for those with profound hearing loss.

Providence Speech and Hearing Center has opened the first all-encompassing Cochlear Implant Institute, specializing in pediatrics, in Orange County.

The Orange County Cochlear Implant Institute™ at Providence Speech and Hearing Center is a multi-disciplinary group of experts that consists of an Audiologist, Otologist, Psychologist, Speech-Language Pathologist, and Social Worker serving the full spectrum of patients - infants through adults.

In its first year, we are providing more than 200 evaluations to children and infants to determine if they are candidates for cochlear implantation, and we are partnering with both CHOC Children's and UCI for surgery. Post-surgery, Providence provides the critical follow-up implant mapping, speech and language therapy, and all necessary wrap-around services required for implant patient success.

What is a cochlear implant?

A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound for a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing and in whom hearing aids provide little to no benefit. A processor behind the ear captures and processes sound signals, which are transmitted to an internal receiver housed in the cochlea (inner ear).
Mapping (MAPs) is the term for programming a cochlear implant to the specifications and needs of its user. MAPs are programs that help to optimize the cochlear implant user’s access to sound.

See the impact.

On January 12, 2017, Cindy's cochlear implant was activated. Click here to watch her reaction to hearing sounds for the very first time.

Click here to watch the incredible journey of our first cochlear implant patient, Penelope.

 

Each member of the cochlear implant team is integral in helping to assess and ensure the success of the cochlear implants. Many people believe cochlear implants are the answer to their children’s hearing disabilities and once implanted, the children will hear “normally.” The reality is that the cochlear implant surgery is one step in a long road toward communication. Once the surgical site is healed, the implant is activated, and the initial mapping is performed. Frequent adjustments to the maps are required to maximize hearing and communication, and speech-language therapy is paramount to long-term success.

Providence is there to provide a continuum of care through the entire journey for each patient. Once the patient's brain can hear sounds, our team works to teach the patient to recognize those sounds and develop language. Listening and spoken language are the goals, and the lifelong impact for each child is immeasurable.

 


Cochlear implant patients are able to hear sounds once the implant is turned on. However, the individual’s brain then needs to be able to learn what to do with those sounds. This ability to learn what to do with the sounds is one of the critical elements that the cochlear implant team attempts to determine prior to surgical intervention.

 

 
 
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