Who is the Cochlear Implant for?

The cochlear implant (CI) provides an option for people with a severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears, who would receive little or no benefit from hearing aids. Candidates much have a functioning auditory nerve with remaining nerve fibres, no medical reasons contraindicating a CI, high motivation, appropriate expectations and a good support system.

What can it do?

Cochlear ImplanceA cochlear implant does not restore “normal” hearing. It is a complex device designed to provide sound information and useful hearing by electrical stimulation of the cochlea. Its benefits vary from individual to individual. Some recipients can detect environmental and speech sounds; other users are able to recognize and understand speech, with or without speechreading; others are able to speak better and to control the volume of their speech.

How do I find out more?

There are a couple different products available. Here are a list of organizations that can provide more information:

Cochlear Implant Funding Assistance Program

CHHA-Calgary offers funding assistance with the daily operational costs of Cochlear Implants for users on a low or fixed income who reside in Alberta. Batteries and accessories needed for Cochlear Implant use can be quite costly. Three batteries are required at a time and the batteries last an average of 2.5 days. Accessories can range in price from $19.00 for an ear hook to $126.00 for a coil with cable (based on US prices from Cochlear Corp for the cochlear implant used by Calgary Health Region patients, the ESPrit-3G).

CHHA-Calgary has set aside funding to help qualifiers (successful applicants) pay for batteries and accessories, the initial set-up costs of buying a battery charger and rechargeable batteries for their Cochlear Implants. To find out if you are eligible to receive up to $1,000 per year in funding assistance, please download the application form:

Please note: The need for financial assistance is defined by the low-income cut-off levels established by the Canadian Council on Social Development – www.ccsd.ca.


Cochlear Implant testimonial from Kris MartinKris Martin has won five track championships, one Grand National, two Grand Prix races and took second place in the Canadian National in 2005. This is an extraordinary list of achievement for someone who is only 20, but Kris has accomplished all of this with a profound hearing loss, which he’s had since birth.
Cochlear Implant

“I had hearing aids from the time I was 12 months to eight years,” he says. “Then at eight and a half, I got my cochlear implant at London University Hospital (Ontario). That was an awesome day – I could finally hear.”

Kim Twitchell, of the Cochlear Implant Team, London Health Sciences Centre explains, “The cochlear implant is a device that allows Kris to perceive sounds by electrically stimulating his auditory nerve in the cochlea. It involves an internal electrode array that is surgically placed into the cochlea, and external equipment consisting of a speech processor, microphone, and transmitting coil. The current generation of speech processors from the three implant companies used in Canada involves ear-level devices, with the speech processor and microphone all behind the ear.”

– Excerpt from CHHA’s LISTEN magazine, Volume 16, Issue 4, Fall 2007. Photo courtesy of Peter Brand.