Cochlear Implant - Rehabilitation Center for Hearing Impaired
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 make sounds louder, cochlear implants do the work of damaged parts of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals 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
score 50% or less on sentence recognition tests done by hearing professional in the ear to be implanted
score 60% or less on sentence recognition tests done by hearing professionals in the non-implanted ear or in both ears with hearing aids.
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.
How do they 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. The process is described below:
A sound processorworn behind the ear or on the body, captures sound and turns it into digital code. The sound processor has a battery that powers the entire system.
The sound processor transmits the digitally-coded sound through the coilon the outside of your head to the implant.
The implantconverts the digitally-coded sound into electrical impulses and sends them along the electrode array placed in the cochlea (the inner ear).
The implant’s electrodes stimulate the cochlea’s hearing nerve, which then sends the impulses to the brain where they are interpreted as sound.