How does a Cochlear Implant work?
What is a cochlear implant?
A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which simply make sounds louder (amplify sound) at the outer ear, a cochlear implant system bypasses the parts of your ear that no longer work properly, delivering sound in the form of electrical signals via the hearing nerve to the brain
Who can they help?
Cochlear implants can help people who:
- have moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears
- receive little or no benefit from hearing aids
- may have good low frequency thresholds but very poor high frequencies
- have a hearing nerve
How does a cochlear implant work: Many people suffer hearing loss because their hair cells in the inner ear or (or cochlea) are damaged. The cochlear implant enables the sound to be transferred to your hearing nerves and enables you to hear. Many people have cochlear implants in both ears (bilateral). Listening with two ears can improve your ability to identify the direction of sound and separate the sounds you want to hear from those you don’t. The process of how a cochlear implant works is described below:
What factors can affect the benefit of a cochlear implant? The benefit of cochlear implants is often different for different individuals. This difference is often due to:
- how long they have had hearing loss before receiving a cochlear implant
- how long they have had previous amplification
- how severe their hearing loss is
- condition of their cochlea (inner ear)
- other medical conditions
- how much practice they include in everyday life when using their cochlear implant system.