For both children and adults the main criteria is insufficient benefit from conventional amplification (Hearing Aid). However, determination of candidacy and reason may diff. For children it depends on the audiological profile as detailed in an audiological test battery and/or lack of auditory development progress during hearing aid trial. For adults the main candidacy criteria is not enough speech intelligibility with conventional high-power hearing aids.
Paediatric Candidacy Criteria - For children, an evaluation should be done with a full battery of paediatric hearing assessments, which should be repeated several times to ensure all result are coherent and supportive of each other. If the result indicates a profound hearing loss and the success with hearing aids is highly unlikely, implantation might be recommended as quickly as possible. If the result are inconclusive or retro cochlear problems are suspected, a hearing aid trial or further electrical testing might be necessary.
Adult Candidacy Criteria
Before an adult considers cochlear implants, hearing aid trial should always be done first. Audiological tests alone should not be the main deciding factor for adults to consider cochlear implants. The main deciding factor should be, that even with the best available conventional high-powered hearing aids, hearing benefit is not satisfactory. Hearing benefit is understood as understanding of speech. Specific tests may be conducted to evaluate speech understanding, but subjective patient experiences are often the deciding criteria.