a child with a cochlear implant

How Long Does a Cochlear Implant Last?

The cochlear implant is a revolutionary technology that has helped thousands of patients regain some sense of sound. However, like any medical device, cochlear implants are subject to the occasional defect and recall.

Below, our Los Angeles product liability attorneys discuss recent cochlear implant recalls, as well as how long a cochlear implant is expected to last.

Why Were Cochlear Implants Recalled?

The cochlear implant has been recalled twice before, once for causing pain and loud noises in patients’ ears, and again because the manufacturer changed components in the device without notifying the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Most of the cochlear implant recalls have resulted from implants that allowed moisture to enter the device causing it to shut down. Sometimes the shutdown or failure is preceded by loud piercing noises, popping sounds, shocking sensations, and loud high-pitched sounds. On other occasions the sound quality progressively worsens. Regardless, cochlear implant failures can cause great stress, frustration and interference with a patient’s daily life, school and work.

How Often Do Cochlear Implants Fail?

While the success rate for cochlear implants is quite high, this does not mean that device malfunctions are not dangerous when they do occur. The FDA states that risks from the implantation of a cochlear device may lead to injury to the facial nerve, meningitis, fluid leakage, and more.

In general, however, cochlear implant users can expect their device to last a lifetime. The only exceptions to this are device malfunction or the advancement of external technology that requires the device to be upgraded.

Did Your Cochlear Device Malfunction? Contact Us Today

The warning signs of a malfunctioning cochlear implant include:

  • Device not working properly
  • Device placement coming loose
  • Tinnitus
  • Ear discomfort

If you are experiencing these symptoms and you suspect your cochlear implant has malfunctioned, our Los Angeles product liability attorneys can help you investigate the problem and hold any and all liable parties accountable for their actions.


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