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Cochlear Implant

What is a Cochlear Implant?

A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is deaf or has difficulty hearing. The implant is surgically placed under the skin behind the ear.

A cochlear implant is not designed to restore or create normal hearing. However, it can give a deaf person a useful auditory understanding of the environment and help him or her to understand speech.

A cochlear implant has four basic parts:

  • A microphone. Picks up sound from the environment;
  • A speech processor. Selects and arranges sounds picked up by the microphone.
  • A transmitter and receiver/stimulator. Receive signals from the speech processor and convert them into electric impulses.
  • Electrodes. Collects the impulses from the stimulator and send them to the brain.

Difference between a Hearing Aid and a Cochlear Implant

A cochlear implant is very different from a hearing aid. Hearing aids amplify sound, while cochlear implants compensate for damaged or non-working parts of the inner ear. A cochlear implant does not amplify sound and hearing from an implant may sound different from normal hearing.

Who Can Benefit from an Implant?

Cochlear implants are designed for individuals who are unable to benefit from a hearing aid.

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