Hearing Implant Program
Hear and Say are Queensland’s largest paediatric cochlear implant program provider – and offer adult cochlear implant services too.
Hear and Say’s holistic hearing implant program offers an interdisciplinary approach to ensure optimal hearing outcomes, with services including:
- Audiology services including comprehensive hearing tests and assessment
- Speech Pathology and Auditory Learning
- Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist services
- Occupational Therapy
- Social Work
- Social Skills Programs
- Parent/Family Support Training
Our highly experienced Audiology team case manage and provide audiological support to guide you through the pre-implant journey and will continue to work with you once you receive your hearing implant.
We understand it’s a big decision to undergo hearing implant surgery. Hear and Say professionals are here to provide support and a holistic care approach at each step of the journey towards improved hearing for you or your family member.
A unique feature of Hear and Say’s Hearing Implant Program is our Listening and Spoken Language component – also known as Auditory Learning. Auditory Learning sessions focus on your hearing and listening skills using your cochlear implant, with the aim of gaining the most out of your hearing device and achieving your hearing and communication potential.
These sessions are suitable for anyone who has recently had a cochlear implant switched-on, or wishes to enhance their listening and communication skills. The focus is to work on hearing and communication goals specific to the individual and may include improving speech understanding in quiet and in background noise, hearing over the telephone and general communication strategies.
“I wanted to do speech therapy as I had a brand new cochlear implant and specifically wanted to improve my hearing on my right ear. My Listening and Spoken Language Specialist, Tracey, took the time to listen to what I wanted to gain from the speech therapy sessions – and she designed activities to do just that. The sessions were very well planned and helped me to improve my hearing, which was confirmed in the hearing tests I did with an audiologist. I cannot thank Tracey enough.” – Sophie, bilateral cochlear implant user.
There are three types of implantable devices including Cochlear Implants, Bone Anchored Hearing Aids and Middle Ear implants. At Hear and Say, we are independent and can offer our expertise across all manufacturers of implantable devices (could say: including, Cochlear, MedEl, Oticon Medical and Advanced Bionics).
For some people affected by hearing loss, hearing aids are no longer the solution and can sound like listening to an out of tune radio. For this group of people, hearing aids can make sounds louder, but they cannot make the words clearer. This is where cochlear implants may be an option. Cochlear implants convert acoustic sound energy into low-level electrical currents that stimulate the auditory or hearing nerve, directly bypassing the damaged inner ear or cochlea.
Adult cochlear implant recipients say that cochlear implants can improve their ability to socialise with friends and family, talk on the phone, improve their safety, and be more generally involved in their day to day life.
For children who receive cochlear implants, this will give them auditory access to the full spectrum of speech sounds that isn’t possible with hearing aids. Improved hearing, alongside the support of parents and a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist, children with hearing loss can achieve their full potential and go on to mainstream school, just like their typically hearing peers.
Pre-implant candidacy assessments can include:
- aided and unaided hearing assessments
- speech discrimination testing
- alternative hearing device trials
- consultations with your ENT specialist
- discussions with our Listening and Spoken Language Specialists.
Our audiologists will ensure you or your child are well supported throughout your cochlear implant journey!
Bone Conduction Hearing Aids
In some cases, traditional hearing aids and Cochlear Implants may not be a suitable rehabilitation option. For some individuals with chronic middle ear infections, physical ear abnormalities or disarticulation of the bones in their middle ear, a bone conduction hearing device may be recommended. A bone conduction hearing device sends sounds directly to the inner ear, or cochlea, by vibrating the bones of the skull. Sound bypasses any blockages in the middle ear and/or outer ear.
Middle Ear Implants
Middle ear implants may be suitable for mixed, conductive or sensorineural hearing loss and offers an alternative to traditional hearing aids.
Middle ear implants have two components: one that is surgically implanted into the middle ear and an external speech processor worn on the head, behind the ear. The implant works by directly stimulating and moving the middle ear bones and/or vibrating the round membrane window of the cochlear to transmit sound.
At 9.10pm on 24 October 2013 our beautiful daughter Maia was born.
The moment of elation was short-lived as we immediately noticed her left ear was missing. I frantically looked to the medical team around me for answers but received none.
Panic set in as we waited 4 days in hospital for an ENT to explain her condition, by which point we already had all the answers from Simone, who runs the Microtia and Atresia Program at Hear and Say.