Adults may need a cochlear implant if they have problems with progressive deafness – deafness that worsens over time. They may have become socially isolated, struggle to communicate with family, friends and anyone they come into contact with, and/ or if they find it difficult to work or their job is under threat because of their hearing loss. Progressive deafness can occur at any age and may be caused by a genetic condition, an accident or ongoing exposure to noise, perhaps in a factory. Many people start to become deaf as they get older. This is because – like other parts of the body – sometimes the ears are not able to function as well as they used to. A cochlear implant is useful for those with a severe hearing loss and can be useful for adults of any age – from those in their 20s to those in their 80s, or even older.