a woman with a cochlear implant

The Pros and Cons of a Cochlear Implant

A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted device that helps a deaf or hard of hearing person regain a sense of sound. The device bypasses the normal hearing process and replaces it with electric signals that stimulate the auditory nerve.

While this device has been extremely beneficial for some, it has been a disaster for others due to numerous recalls. Below, our Los Angeles product liability attorneys discuss the pros and cons of a cochlear implant.

Hearing improvementSurgery
Speech DevelopmentCost
Future learning and career opportunitiesOutcomes and hearing levels differ for everyone

What Are the Benefits of a Cochlear Implant?

Cochlear implants have helped thousands of patients regain something they thought they had lost forever. Many adults often benefit immediately from a cochlear implant and continue to improve in their hearing ability for about three months after the initial tuning sessions. Such improvements will often continue for a few years, then become slower.

Many patients with a cochlear implant report that they can perceive most loud, medium, and soft sounds including slamming doors, barking dogs, and more. Many can even enjoy watching TV and listening to music—activities they could not fully enjoy before.

What Are the Risks of a Cochlear Implant?

As with any medical device, there are risks. Most of these risks stem from the surgical implantation procedure and include the following:

  • Injury to the facial nerve
  • Meningitis
  • Cerebrospinal fluid leakage
  • Infection of the skin wound
  • Attacks of dizziness or vertigo
  • Tinnitus (a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears)
  • Failure of the implant

The last point—the failure of the cochlear implant—is a serious risk that can leave a patient in physical and financial ruin. In fact, the cochlear implant has been subject to multiple recalls in recent years. One recall was initiated after patients reported loud sounds and pain in their ears, and another was issued after the manufacturer changed components in the device without alerting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Such recalls have impacted close to 28,000 patients in the U.S.

If you or someone you love has been harmed by a defective cochlear implant, our Los Angeles product liability attorneys can help protect your rights against large manufacturers and their insurers. We have a strong track record of success in product liability claims, and we’re here to fight for you, too.


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