Cochlear Implant Specialist in Berkeley, CA

Discover how Berkeley Hearing Center can enhance your hearing experience with advanced cochlear implant solutions

We understand that hearing aids are often not enough to overcome certain hearing challenges.

That’s why we are proud to introduce our new cochlear implant specialist, Dr. Rhonda who brings a wealth of experience and passion for helping patients achieve better hearing through advanced cochlear implant technology.

Berkeley’s Leading Cochlear Implant Specialist

Dr. Rhonda Labib has joined the Berkeley Hearing Center as a clinical audiologist. She holds a bachelor of science in biology and communication disorders from Biola University and earned her Doctorate of Audiology from the University of the Pacific in 2022, graduating summa cum laude.

Specializing in cochlear implants and bone-conduction devices, Rhonda’s passion lies in leveraging cutting-edge technology to improve hearing and quality of life for her patients. Her clinical expertise spans diagnostics to rehabilitation, serving pediatric to geriatric populations in both private practice and hospital settings. In her most recent role at a major Bay Area hospital, she led the cochlear implant program, working closely with her surgeon to develop and implement innovative protocols and provide comprehensive multi-disciplinary care to patients with complex needs.

Rhonda’s spark for audiology was shaped by her international volunteer work with refugees suffering from blast-related hearing loss. This experience instilled in her a deep dedication to overcoming cultural and societal barriers in hearing healthcare. Her mission is to provide accessible, empathetic, and high-quality care, which is what led her to Berkeley Hearing Center.

Outside of work, Rhonda enjoys the simplicities of being a Bay Area native. She loves to explore diverse outdoor scenery and find new trails to hike, discover new hidden gems of cultural food spots, and simply find new ways to relax and appreciate the city and nature that surround her. Her love for the region fuels her commitment to serving the East Bay community at the Berkeley Hearing Center.

Rhonda Labib, Doctor of Audiology at Berkeley Hearing Center

Understanding Cochlear Implant Technology

Cochlear implants (CIs) are advanced medical devices designed to improve speech clarity for individuals who can no longer benefit from traditional hearing aids.

They work by bypassing damaged parts of the cochlea to directly stimulate the auditory nerve, providing greater access to speech information for both children and adults.

How Cochlear Implants Work

Cochlear implants consist of two main components: an internal electrode array and an external sound processor. The internal electrode array is surgically inserted into the cochlea, while the external sound processor is worn behind the ear.

This processor captures sound, converts it into electrical signals, and sends the signals to the internal electrode array, which then stimulates the auditory nerve.

The brain interprets these signals as sound, allowing individuals with severe hearing loss to perceive speech and environmental noises more clearly.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cochlear Implants

Q. What is a bi-modal fitting?

A. A bi-modal fitting involves using a cochlear implant in one ear and a hearing aid in the other. This approach maximizes hearing potential by allowing the devices to communicate with each other, providing a more balanced hearing experience.

Q. Who qualifies for a cochlear implant?

A. Cochlear implants are suitable for individuals with moderate to profound hearing loss or single-sided deafness who struggle to understand speech even with hearing aids. They are beneficial for children, adolescents, and adults who need additional hearing support.

Q. How is CI surgery performed?

A. CI surgery involves making an incision behind the ear, drilling into the bone behind the ear, and threading the electrode array into the cochlea. The external sound processor is then positioned behind the ear. The surgery typically requires only a one-day hospital stay.

Q. Are there risks associated with CI surgery?

A. Most CI surgeries are completed with minimal complications. One risk includes possibly losing the natural hearing in the ear that is implanted. Patients' medical histories and potential risks are thoroughly evaluated before proceeding with the surgery to ensure safety.

Q. Will I need additional surgeries for technology updates?

A. No, the internal electrode array remains unchanged. Technological updates are applied to the external sound processor, which can be easily replaced without additional surgery.

Q. Can I maintain an active lifestyle with a CI?

A. Yes, individuals with cochlear implants can continue to enjoy activities like swimming and sports. Patients have the option of obtain a water-proof kit to protect the external processor during water activities or intense physical activities.

Q. How soon after surgery can I use my CI?

A. The cochlear implant is typically activated within two to four weeks after surgery. Users then undergo listening practice to adapt to the new auditory information.

Q. Are cochlear implants covered by insurance?

A. Most private insurance companies and Medicare cover cochlear implants for FDA-approved candidates. Coverage policies may vary, so it is important to check with your insurance provider.

Do You Qualify for Cochlear Implants?

If you or a loved one is experiencing severe to profound hearing loss and hearing aids are not providing adequate help, cochlear implants may be the solution. Berkeley Hearing Center is committed to providing advanced cochlear implant technology to those who qualify.

If you’re interested in learning more about cochlear implants or want to find out if you qualify, please fill out the form below, and our specialist will contact you.

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