Numerous changes continue to occur in cochlear implant candidacy. In general, these have been accompanied by concomitant and satisfactory changes in surgical techniques. Together, this has advanced the utility and safety of cochlear implantation. Most devices are now approved for use in patients with severe to profound unilateral hearing loss rather then the prior requirement of a bilateral profound loss. Furthermore, studies have begun utilizing short electrode arrays for shallow insertion in patients with considerable low-frequency residual hearing. This technique will allow the recipient to continue to use acoustically amplified hearing for the low frequencies simultaneously with a cochlear implant for the high frequencies. The advances in design of, and indications for, cochlear implants have been matched by improvements in surgical techniques and decrease in complications. The resulting improvements in safety and efficacy have further encouraged the use of these devices. This paper will review the new concepts in the candidacy of cochlear implant. Medline data base was used to search articles dealing with the following topics: cochlear implant in younger children, cochlear implant and hearing preservation, cochlear implant for unilateral deafness and tinnitus, genetic hearing loss and cochlear implant, bilateral cochlear implant, neuropathy and cochlear implant and neural plasticity, and the selection of patients for cochlear implant.
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