Cochlear implants are an important part of treatment modality available for certain individuals with severe hearing loss unresponsive to hearing aids. Patients are evaluated extensively in a variety of areas before undergoing implantation. Medical suitability is established first prior to the evaluation of other factors. These include social and psychological factors which are very important in the long term successful use of cochlear implants. An extensive postoperative rehabilitation program is necessary for successful cochlear implant use.
Children and adults can benefit from cochlear implantation. The eligibility requirements vary depending on the age of the patient. All patients are evaluated with a team approach consisting of the otologist, Dr. Ator, the implant audiologist, Sandy Keener. Speech pathology and psychological consultants are available as well.
Complete hearing and balance evaluations are available through the department. Elizabeth Karlsen, Becky Hanneman and Amy Nunnelee perform these tests. State of the art hearing aids, including new programmable digital aids by Resound and others are available. Complete balance testing including electronystagmography, rotary chair testing, and platform posturography are also available.
Vestibular rehabilitation is a program designed to restore normal balance, orientation and function to patients with disease of the vestibular system. Our vestibular rehabilitation program is under the direction of Vicki Bouckhout, R.P.T.