In the spring 2019 semester, graduate students in the audiology doctorate program at the Illinois State University Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing clinic began to see cochlear implant patients on campus. Graduate audiology students now provide candidacy testing to determine if a patient is a candidate for a cochlear implant, initial activation, and follow up care for these patients. The Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing clinic partners with surgeons in Peoria, Champaign, and St. Louis for the surgery. The patient can choose their surgeon, pending insurance coverage. Most insurances cover cochlear implant surgery and services.

A cochlear implant is a surgical hearing solution. People can have such a severe hearing loss that traditional hearing aids do not benefit them. These people can often be helped by a cochlear implant. The video below shows a young woman who suffered a sudden sensorineural hearing loss. These losses can be caused by a virus or other illness. Patients usually have no other symptoms, except occasional dizziness. They can sometimes be successfully treated with high dose steroids. However, that does not always resolve the issue. This patient lost all of her hearing in one ear, and the next year lost all of her hearing in the other. Cochlear implants were a way to put her back in touch with her world, her education, and her family. The video was taken with permission at this patient’s initial activation.

If you or a loved one are interested in learning more about cochlear implants, please contact the Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic at (309)438-8641 for more information.