Learn why many cochlear implant recipients wish they had not waited to get a cochlear implant, and see why Dr. David Kelsall, otologist, says that you are “never too old to hear”:


“People always ask me, ‘Am I too old for a cochlear implant?,’ and my response to that is that you’re never too old to hear – to be a part of the world,” says Dr. David Kelsall. Dr. Kelsall, otologist from Rocky Mountain Ear Center located in Denver, Colorado, has personally implanted a patient who is 96 years old.

Feeling like you have a place in the world is directly related to our connections and relationships. When those relationships are strained due to communication issues like hearing loss, it seems inevitable that you begin to see the world in a different light. It is easy to withdraw from others and feel like a wallflower. However, it does not have to feel this way; cochlear implants have helped thousands of patients regain not only their hearing, but their feeling of being seen by the world again.

Cochlear implant recipients wish they had not waited

Too many times, perfectly healthy cochlear implant candidates count themselves out because of their age. There is often the fear that it is too late in the game to do something about their hearing, or that the procedure simply will not work due to other health factors. Many cochlear implant recipients wish they would not have been so afraid to have the cochlear implant procedure years earlier. Lives quickly change from coping with their hearing loss when their hearing aids were no longer enough, to thriving in life with a cochlear implant and restored hearing.

While cochlear implants can look similar to hearing aids, they work much differently than hearing aids for those with severe to profound hearing loss. Hearing aids are typically the first step to treating hearing loss and are a great solution for those with mild to moderate hearing loss who need sound to be amplified or made louder. However, as hearing loss progresses, which is often part of the aging process, sounds need to be made both louder and clearer.

If you are in properly fit, powerful hearing aids and frustrated with how you’re hearing, it may be time to be evaluated for a cochlear implant.

Hear from a 93-year-old veteran with a cochlear implant

Bruce on why you are never too old for a cochlear implantDr. Bruce Douglas (read his story here) is a veteran who struggled with hearing throughout his life. He attributes his true hearing loss to loud gunshot noises from his time serving in the Korean War. After years in hearing aids, he got a Cochlear Nucleus® Implant and was able to continue working and building relationships. Now, he is looking forward to new experiences and his 100th birthday! Bruce says, “The Cochlear Nucleus Implant has introduced me to a world of sound that I could not know existed if I had not had the Cochlear Nucleus Implant surgery done.”

If you have severe to profound hearing loss – when it sounds like listening to a loud, badly tuned radio and the words are no longer clear – a cochlear implant could give you a whole new experience. You may find it easier to once again participate at family gatherings, speak with loved ones on the phone and enjoy movies and music. No matter how much life you have already lived, you’re never too old to hear and enjoy your life to the fullest.

You are never too old to hear with cochlear implants? Learn about cochlear implants to help you regain the life you love to lead.

Cara Lippitt
Cara Lippitt is the Senior Manager, Social Media Strategy at Cochlear Americas. Cara is inspired by the stories of the recipients that she is able to tell and the incredible journeys they have taken. Cara was born and raised in Colorado and adores the mountains, snow and the world of musical theatre.