About Nerve Deafness
The Difference between Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants
How do Cochlear Implants Work
Types of Cochlear Implants
Selecting a Cochlear Implant
Costs Associated with Cochlear Implants
What is a Cochlear Implant?
A cochlear implant is a computerized device that may restore useful hearing to persons with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss. It is the only medical technology able to partially restore one of the body’s five senses – the sense of hearing.
Unlike a hearing aid, which amplifies incoming sound, a cochlear implant changes sound waves into electrical signals. Hearing aids require functioning hair cells in the inner ear whereas Cochlear Implants bypass the damaged hair cells and replace their function. Damage of these hair cells is by far the most common cause of hearing loss. In a normal hearing ear, the hair cells within the cochlea change (transduce) mechanical vibration into electro-chemical signals that stimulate the hearing nerve. The cochlear implant replaces the function of the lost hair cells by converting mechanical energy (sound waves) into electrical energy that stimulates the auditory nerve. To do this, cochlear implants are surgically placed within the inner ear. Thus, the cochlear implant bypasses the damaged part of the auditory system and provides hearing.
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