When testing patients for cochlear implantation, it’s critical to test in noise, Dr. Gantz said. “If you don’t do that, you’re going to have a lot of unhappy patients,” he said. “They’re crying because they cannot go out to dinner. They can’t socialize in their church, and they’re withdrawing.”
Dr. Gantz said that shorter electrodes, to preserve residual hearing at lower frequencies, tend to be used at his center. Patients with better than 80-decibel hearing at 1500 Hz are typically suitable for a shorter electrode, he said.
“We think that those who have more residual hearing do better in the long term,” he said. “They’ve got a better percentage of keeping that low frequency over time. And we know we can keep it up to 16 years now…. We need to consider implanting people younger when they do have this neural substrate, rather than older.”