In For Adults, For Parents, Tips & Tricks

If you’re thinking about receiving, or have received, a cochlear implant, odds are that you’ve got lots of questions about having cochlear implant surgery.

But, you might also be wondering “what’s a good question?” You might think that some questions are silly or too small to matter. That’s not true! Ever question is important. So, I’ve put together a huge list of questions that you can use for the first steps of your hearing journey.

When Thinking About Cochlear Implant Surgery

If you are considering receiving a cochlear implant, here are some good questions you can ask to learn more about what a cochlear implant can mean for your hearing.

  1. What tests and visits are required to find out if I’m a good candidate for a cochlear implant?
  2. How might my hearing get better after receiving a cochlear implant?
  3. How long does it usually take for me to hear my best with the CI?
  4. Is there an age limit for cochlear implantation? Can older adults also be candidates?
  5. Can I get an implant in both of my ears? Should I?
  6. Should my medical history be shared with the cochlear implant team prior to surgery?
  7. What’s it like to use a cochlear implant?
  8. What happens to my natural hearing after receiving the implant?
  9. I’ve used hearing aids before. How does a cochlear implant compare?
  10. I’ve never used a hearing aid before. Does this matter?
  11. How often will I need to visit an audiologist after the surgery?
  12. What happens during these visits? How long will they last?
  13. Are there local support groups or resources that I can use to contact other cochlear implant recipients?
  14. If I’m a bilateral CI candidate, what would be best for me—simultaneous or sequential bilateral implantation?

Before Choosing a Specific Cochlear Implant

If you and your CI team have decided that a cochlear implant is the right choice for you, congratulations! Now that you’re on your way, it’s time to ask more specific questions about CIs and surgery.

  1. How do I pick the right CI for me?
  2. How long is the warranty for the internal and external parts of this CI?
  3. Will my insurance pay for parts that are out of warranty and that need to be replaced?
  4. Will I have to replace my implant when the technology changes in a few years?
  5. Are there any vaccines or medicines that I should take before the surgery?
  6. How long should I take leave from work (like sick leave), after the surgery?
  7. Can I do any heavy lifting or other physical work after the surgery?
  8. When can I start exercising again?
  9. How will receiving a cochlear implant affect tinnitus?
  10. How will receiving a cochlear implant affect my balance?
  11. What are the most common side effects from the anesthetic?
  12. How many hours per day should I use my CI?
  13. Will I be able to use the phone with my implant?
  14. Will I be able to connect to music players like my iPod?
  15. What will music sound like?
  16. Will I still have to lip read once I start using my cochlear implant?
  17. Will I be able to use my hearing aid right after the surgery?
  18. If I’m only receiving one CI, will I be able to hear with my non-implanted ear?
  19. How can I prepare my children, family, and friends for everything that will happen after the surgery?
  20. How can I make sure that my loved ones have realistic expectations about my hearing journey?
  21. Could certain equipment or electronic devices interfere with my cochlear implant?
  22. Who do I contact if I have trouble with my CI?

After Your Cochlear Implant Surgery

If you’ve received your cochlear implant, it’s time to celebrate (but not too hard)! While in the hospital or relaxing at your home, here are some good questions you can ask to get started on your hearing journey.

  1. When can I go home after the surgery?
  2. How long should I keep the bandage on my head?
  3. Who should I contact after the operation, in case I feel discomfort with the implant site?
  4. What can I do to keep progressing with my listening and communication skills?
  5. Will I need a special listening program for different listening environments?
  6. How can I tell if a listening program is good or bad for me?
  7. For how long should I test out a listening program?

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