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School of Medicine
Cochlear Implant Information
Cochlear Implants are small electronic devices that allow people to hear sounds. A cochlear implant is different from a hearing aid. A hearing aid makes sounds louder and helps someone who has some hearing loss. But a cochlear implant can help a person with very little or no natural hearing ability (partial or complete deafness).
A cochlear implant electrically stimulates the cochlear nerve (nerve for hearing). It has two parts.
- External processor: This part sits behind the ear. It picks up sounds with a microphone. It then processes the sound and transmits it to the internal device.
- Internal processor: This part is surgically implanted in the inner ear. A thin wire and small electrodes leads to the cochlea, which is part of the inner ear. The wire sends signals to the auditory nerve. This is the nerve that sends sound impulses to the brain.
A cochlear implant helps give a person a sense of sounds. It doesn't restore hearing to normal. However, it can help a person understand speech and noises in the environment.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cochlear Implants
What does an implant sound like? Can I sleep with an implant on? How much hair will be shaved off during surgery?
Cochlear Implants for Kids
Early intervention is important for children in order to achieve the best results and reach developmental milestones.