Cochlear implants are prosthetic devices that provide hearing for persons with severe to profound hearing loss who receive little or no benefit from hearing aids. Tiny wires (electrodes) are surgically inserted into the cochlea (an organ of hearing). The cochlear implant converts sound energy into electrical signals and stimulates the auditory nerve.
A cochlear implant goes on both the outside and inside of your head. These parts work together to help you notice sounds.
You will wear a device that looks like a hearing aid behind your ear. It has a microphone that picks up sounds and sends them to a speech processor. The speech processor turns the sounds into a digital signal.
The speech processor sends the signal to a transmitter. This device goes on your head, behind your ear. The transmitter sends the signal to a receiver under your skin. A magnet holds the two together.
The receiver is under the skin behind your ear. It sends the signals to electrodes in your inner ear, or cochlea. The electrodes trigger the auditory nerve. This lets your brain notice the incoming sounds.
Cochlear implants will not work for everyone. They may work for adults who:
Children can also get cochlear implants. They may work best for children who:
If your child is old enough, it is helpful if he/she can:
It is important that your child has your support. This will help him have success with the cochlear implants.