Cochlear implants for adults

Cochlear implants may provide access to sounds you no longer hear, even in noisy environments. Learn how they may be able to help you.

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What you'll find on this page

  • Hear from people whose lives have been transformed by a cochlear implant
  • Find out if a cochlear implant may
    help you
  • Uncover common myths about cochlear implants

When you live with hearing loss, you're missing more than just your hearing. You're missing your connection to life.

Improved quality of life is so important and many people who now have cochlear implants say they enjoy talking on the phone, listening to music and socializing with family and friends again.1-3 Being able to hear alarms and traffic when crossing the street are sounds that can make you feel safer as well.

“Between 2009 and 2012, I lost my hearing in both ears, and I was devastated. I felt so alone in this huge world. I became very dependent on my family, and I became a recluse. It was scary… Now that I have my Cochlear Implant, I can be a better father, because I’m not dependent on my child; my child can be dependent on me. I’m so joyous now.”

- Chad D. - Nucleus® System recipient

Do you qualify for a cochlear implant?

Cochlear implants are approved for adults with moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss in one or both ears who are not receiving enough benefit when using hearing aids. For some people, using hearing aids with a moderate to profound hearing loss can be like listening to a loud, badly tuned radio. It may be loud enough to hear parts of what is being said, but the words are not clear. Cochlear implants are designed to provide clearer sound and help you understand what is being said.

A hearing health professional who specializes in all types of hearing technology, including implantable hearing solutions, will be able to advise if you may benefit from a cochlear implant.

Note: Wearing hearing aids first is a necessary step in the evaluation process for a cochlear implant.



Affording a cochlear implant is a concern for many. The good news is that, unlike hearing aids, cochlear implants may be covered by your insurance plan, including Medicare and typically Medicaid. Contact your insurance company or local Hearing Implant Specialist to determine your eligibility for coverage and to see how much a cochlear implant will cost you.


Cochlear implant surgery is not brain surgery. The surgeon makes a small incision behind the ear, places the implant underneath the skin, delicately threads the electrodes into the cochlea and closes the incision site. In most cases, you can return home later the same day and can get back to your normal activities within a few days.


Cochlear implants have proven to be a successful solution for those who are in their 80's and even 90's. It's never too late to regain access to the sounds you're missing.


Many people believe you have to be completely deaf to get a cochlear implant. That is simply not true. In fact, you may be able to hear some sounds (like a baby crying or dog barking) even without hearing aids and still qualify for a cochlear implant. The moment you start struggling to hear and understand speech with your hearing aids in noise is the moment you should seek further evaluation by your local Hearing Implant Specialist.


You will be able to upgrade your sound processor as new technology becomes available while the internal components remain intact – no additional surgery required.


The process of getting a cochlear implant is step by step. First, start with being evaluated by a Hearing Implant Specialist to determine whether a cochlear implant may be a solution for you. From there, you will have the support you need to help you reach your hearing goals. The steps you take could make all the difference in how well you hear and participate in everyday life.



Please seek advice from your health professional about treatments for hearing loss. Outcomes may vary, and your health professional will advise you about the factors which could affect your outcome. Always read the instructions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information.

Views expressed are those of the individual. Consult your health professional to determine if you are a candidate for Cochlear technology.

For a full list of Cochlear’s trademarks, please visit our Terms of Use page.


  1. Novak MA, Firszt JB, Rotz LA, et al. Cochlear implants in infants and toddlers. Ann Otol Rhino Laryngol Suppl 2000;185:46-49.
  2. Hirschfelder A, Gräbel S, Olze H. The impact of cochlear implantation on quality of life: The role of audiologic performance and variables. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008 Mar;138(3): 357-362.
  3. Wyatt JR, Niparko JK, Rothman M, deLissovoy G. Cost Utility of the Multichannel Cochlear Implant in 258 Profoundly Deaf Individuals. Laryngoscope.1996;106:816–821.