Introduction to Cochlear Implants
Many people suffer hearing loss because they have damage to hair cells in the inner ear or cochlea. Hearing aids are not very helpful for these people. If the auditory (hearing) nerves still work, a cochlear implant can help these individuals hear. A cochlear implant is a device that provides direct electrical stimulation to the auditory (hearing) nerve in the inner ear.
A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants do the work of damaged parts of the inner ear to provide sound signals to the brain. Cochlear implants have helped over one hundred thousand people hear again or to hear for the first time.
Cochlear implants can help people who:
Have a profound hearing loss
Receive little or no benefit from hearing aids
Many people have cochlear implants in both ears (bilateral). Listening with two ears can improve the ability to identify the direction of sound and separate the sounds individuals’ wants to hear from those they don’t.
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