Hearing loss is really complex and touches on every aspect of your daily life as well as that of your family. While your cochlear implant may give you access to sound, researchers suggest a more holistic approach to hearing therapy may help with your communication outcomes.


Hearing therapy can enhance your communication outcomes

Did you know that many adults with cochlear implants don’t actively seek appropriate aural rehabilitation or hearing therapy because of an assumption that the hearing technology is enough?1 This assumes that the technology alone is sufficient to address the broad impact of hearing loss on an individual’s daily life. And that since hearing is “restored” or compensated for by technology, that no further efforts are required.

A couple stands together proud to rethink adult hearing therapy

While your cochlear implant may give you access to sound, researchers suggest a more holistic approach to rehabilitation2 3. However, a holistic approach that involves gaining knowledge, skills training and counselling may help you achieve broader real-life listening and communication outcomes.

The impact a holistic approach to adult hearing therapy can have

A holistic approach can also be shaped by your individual requirements – your needs, abilities, preferences, and social and physical contexts.

Several researchers argue that hearing loss needs to be managed under a model of care that follows a World Health Organization framework4, which considers other factors in addition to your hearing loss and appropriate fitting technology. These other factors include how hearing loss may:

  • impact or limit daily activity such as difficulty hearing speech in noisy environments.
  • restrict your participation in daily life such as being able to fully participate in conversations.
  • influence your quality of life such as enjoyment and independence.5

A woman sits on a couch on the phone discussing rethinking adult hearing therapy.

Recently, researchers have proposed a similar comprehensive approach to hearing therapy, which incorporates device fitting and management, instruction, counselling and auditory training which all maximizes the opportunity to optimize speech recognition and quality of life outcomes for adults with cochlear implants.6

For more on adult hearing therapy for cochlear implants, click here

  1. Drouin, J. R., & Theodore, R. M. (2020). Leveraging interdisciplinary perspectives to optimize auditory training for cochlear implant users. Language and Linguistics Compass. https://doi.org/10.1111/lnc3.12394.
  2. Boothroyd, A (2007). Adult aural rehabilitation: what is it and does it work? Trends Amplif. 2007 Jun;11(2):63-71.
  3. Ferguson, M., Maidment, D., Henshaw, H., & Heffernan, E. (2019). Evidence-Based Interventions for Adult Aural Rehabilitation: That Was Then, This Is Now. Seminars in hearing, 40(1), 68–84. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0038-1676784]
  4. McMahon, C, Gopinath, Schneider,J, Reath,J., Hickson,L, Leeder,S., Mitchell, P., Cowan, R. (2013) The Need for Improved Detection and Management of Adult-Onset Hearing Loss in Australia. International Journal of Otolaryngology Volume 2013, Article ID 308509, https://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/308509]
  5. https://www.who.int/classifications/international-classification-of-functioning-disability-and-health
  6. Moberly, A. C., Vasil, K., Baxter, J., Klamer, B., Kline, D., & Ray, C. (2020). Comprehensive auditory rehabilitation in adults receiving cochlear implants: A pilot study. Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology. https://doi.org/10.1002/lio2.442.
Anna Martinez
Anna Martinez is the Associate Volunteer Engagement Manager and has worked for Cochlear since 2016. She is responsible for communication and onboarding with the Cochlear volunteer community. Anna is a Colorado native and enjoys being outside in the beautiful weather with her son.