New considerations for recommending a cochlear implant evaluation


Every patient’s hearing loss journey is unique, and each patient may require a different treatment option. The continuum of care for hearing loss isn’t a linear pathway so being aware of all technologies to manage your patient’s hearing loss can help you find the best solution for them.

Hearing loss is seen by many to be a communication disorder; it is now known to have much wider-ranging consequences that can significantly impact a person’s quality-of-life. Age-related hearing loss has been shown to also lead to increased accidental falls, hospitalizations, loneliness and social isolation.1 A multi-faceted approach to the treatment of hearing for patients is needed from a collaborative network of providers to meet the needs of your patients.

Innovations in hearing health care have made the way for over-the-counter (OTC) hearing devices and personal sound-amplification products (PSAP’s) enabling patients access outside of the traditional clinical practice. However, hearing care providers are the best professionals to speak to the different hearing solutions for their patients. As a hearing care provider, you have the unique ability to

differentiate your practice by counseling on all hearing loss treatment options and providing comprehensive services to support optimal performance.

If hearing aid technology is not providing your patient the ability to hear and understand speech, a cochlear implant may be the next step. Traditionally, cochlear implants have been considered a treatment option only for those who have lost all of their hearing. Health benefits and improved hearing outcomes2 support the need to shorten the duration of hearing loss and consider cochlear implantation before hearing loss progresses to profound. For patients with hearing losses greater than or equal to 60 dB HL (pure tone average 0.5, 1k, 2kHz) and speech understanding less than or equal to 60%,3 referral for a cochlear implant evaluation should be pursued.

To learn more read this Journal Club or visit

* This provides a recommendation of when an adult may be referred for a cochlear implant

evaluation, but does not guarantee candidacy based on indications. For the approved Cochlear

Nucleus Indications, please refer to the important information booklet or physician’s guides.


1. Deal JA, Reed NS, Kravetz AD, et al. Incident Hearing Loss and Comorbidity: A Longitudinal

Administrative Claims Study. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019;145(1):36–43. doi:10.1001/


2. Derinsu U, Yüksel M, Geçici CR, Çiprut A, Akdeniz E. Effects of residual speech and auditory deprivation

on speech perception of adult cochlear implant recipients.

3. Zwolan TA, Schvartz-Leyzac KC, Pleasant T. Development of a 60/60 guideline for referring adults for

a traditional Cochlear implant candidacy evaluation. Otol Neurotol 2020;41:895-900.

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