Helping patients who might be cochlear implant candidates

What happens when your patient is at the limits of traditional amplification and no longer able to receive benefit from hearing aids? By building strong connections with your patients and partners, you can help provide your patients the full continuum of care.

As a hearing care professional (HCP), you see variability in the clinic on a daily basis, including the audiological profiles of your patients, their specific needs and goals as well as the family members’ goals and needs. Like most HCPs, you probably pride yourself on offering solutions for patients regardless of these individual variables. But what happens when your patient is at the limits of traditional amplification and no longer is able to receive the benefit from hearing aids?

Having the right tools, resources and professional relationships can help you guide your patient to their the next steps to ensure that they are able to live a life without limitations.

Cochlear implant candidacy

First, cochlear implant candidacy is constantly evolving, so knowing current trends can be helpful. If your patient experiences any of following, they might be a candidate for a cochlear implant:1-3

  • Difficulty communicating one-on-one, in quiet, in noise or on the phone
  • Reliance on lipreading or captioning
  • Limited or poor benefit from hearing aids
  • Air Conduction Thresholds ≥ 70 dB
  • <40% Word Recognition Score
  • Frequent follow-up adjustments; more than the average patient

The insight that the dispensing HCP has in regards to their patient’s audiological history, hearing challenges, goals and motivation can provide the valuable information in determining candidacy and next steps. It is highly encouraged that when your patient is referred to a CI audiologist, you work with them to provide your patients with a continuum of care regardless of what they have on their ears. When your patients’ well-hearing is at the heart of your recommendation, this professional partnership is invaluable.

Phonak and Advanced Bionics partnership

80% of CI patients are actually bimodal, meaning they wear a CI in one ear and a hearing aid in another.4-5 The partnership of Phonak and Advanced Bionics technologies means that your patients can thrive with a bimodal solution thanks to the Phonak Naída™ Link M and Sky™ Link M.

These multifunctional BTEs offer full coordination of binaural features when paired with an AB Marvel CI, including hands-free, made-for-all connectivity for all Bluetooth-enabled devices. These Link M solutions round out your ability to provide a full portfolio of solutions for all patients, including those moving towards cochlear Implantation.

Maintaining patient satisfaction and clinic reputation

By offering a broader portfolio of solutions to your patients and educating them on the possibility of a cochlear implant, you can help ensure patient satisfaction and hearing performance. That particular patient can be kept as a customer and might provide word-of-mouth advertising to their friends and family. This will help you be recognized as an expert in management of complex listening needs.

To learn more about the power hearing solutions that Phonak offers, we invite you to visit our product pages. And to learn about the cochlear implant solutions that Advanced Bionics offer, please visit the Advanced Bionics website.


  1. Advanced Bionics. Instructions for Use, HiResolution™ Bionic Ear System. Retrieved from
  2. Gubbels, S. P., Gartrell, B. C., Ploch, J. L., Hanson, K. D. (2016). Can routine office-based audiometry predict cochlear implant evaluation results? Laryngoscope. 31 October 2016
  3. Gifford, R. H., Dorman, M. F., Shallop, J. K., Sydlowski, S. A. (2010). Evidence for the expansion of adult cochlear implant candidacy. Ear and Hearing. (31). 186-194
  4. Gifford, R. H., & Dorman, M. F. (2019). Bimodal Hearing or Bilateral Cochlear Implants? Ask the Patient. Ear and Hearing, 40(3), 501–516.
  5. Holder, J. T., Reynolds, S. M., Sunderhaus, L. W., & Gifford, R. H. (2018). Current profile of adults presenting for preoperative cochlear implant evaluation. Trends in Hearing, 22, 2331216518755288.

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