Cochlear Implant Myths and Facts

Can old people get cochlear implants? Is cochlear implant surgery dangerous? Can I fly with a hearing implant?

There are lots of rumors about cochlear implants out there. But just how true are they? We’re here to set the record straight about these 10 common cochlear implant myths.


MYTH #1: Cochlear implants Are Only for Young People

Fact: There’s no upper age limit for getting a cochlear implant, and lots of people get CIs in their eighties or nineties. Studies even show that older cochlear implant recipients have significant improvements in speech perception.


MYTH #2: Getting a Cochlear Implant Requires Brain Surgery

Fact: There’s absolutely no brain surgery involved in getting a cochlear implant. The implant itself sits under skin behind the ear and an electrode is inserted into the cochlea, which is in the inner ear. The surgeon doesn’t need to go near your brain at all.


MYTH #3: You Can’t Have an MRI With a Cochlear Implant

Fact: All our modern multi-channel cochlear implants are suitable for MRIs at 1.5 Tesla. And, thanks to their special magnet design, our SYNCHRONY series implants can even undergo MRIs at 3.0 Tesla. Find out more about MRIs with cochlear implants in our guide.


MYTH #4: A Cochlear Implant Will Destroy Whatever Hearing You Have Left

Fact: The inner ear is very delicate—but our cochlear implants have soft and flexible electrodes that are designed to preserve those delicate structures. That, combined with ever-improving surgical techniques, helps keep residual hearing in place.


MYTH#5: You Can’t Go Swimming With a Cochlear Implant

Fact: The implant itself sits under skin, so is protected from water and safe to swim with. The external audio processor is usually just splashproof though. This means you should either remove it before you swim, or apply a waterproof accessory like WaterWear, so you can still enjoy sound in the pool.

MYTH #6: You Can’t Appreciate Music With a CI

Fact: Plenty of cochlear implant recipients enjoy listening to music, and many are even talented musicians themselves . Of course, rehabilitation and practice are important to get the most out of music. Take a look at this blog for tips on appreciating music with a cochlear implant.


MYTH #7: Cochlear Implant Users Can’t Be Near WIFI Devices

Fact: WIFI devices don’t affect cochlear implants or their audio processors, and you don’t need to worry about being near them.


MYTH #8: Cochlear Implants Need to Be Replaced Regularly

FACT: Cochlear implants themselves are built to offer a lifetime of hearing and you shouldn’t need to replace them for decades. But most people usually upgrade their external audio processor every few years so that they can benefit from the latest technology.


MYTH #9: You Can’t Fly With a Cochlear Implant

Fact: Flying with a cochlear implant is no problem! Still, it’s a good idea to let the security team at the airport know that you have an implant, because it might set off security scanners. Here are some more tips for traveling with a cochlear implant.

MYTH #10: After CI Surgery, I’ll Hear Immediately

FACT: After having your CI implanted, you’ll usually have to wait a few weeks until your cochlear implant is activated. It’s also important to keep in mind that it takes some time and practice to learn to hear with a cochlear implant, which is why rehabilitation is so important.

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The content on this website is for general informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Please contact your doctor or hearing specialist to learn what type of hearing solution is suitable for your specific needs. Not all products, features, or indications shown are approved in all countries.


1 Comment


March 28, 2024

I want to get ci I'm profoundly deaf In both ears


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March 28, 2024

Hi there, thanks for reaching out. We recommend getting in touch with your local MED-EL team as well as a medical expert. Please fill in this form to get in touch with your team directly: Kind regards, Gordana


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