What Is a Cochlear Implant?
A cochlear implant is a small hearing device that can help people with profound or severe hearing loss hear again. There are two parts to a cochlear implant: a small piece behind the ear that looks like a hearing aid and a piece that is implanted under the skin surgically. Traditional hearing aids have advanced considerably in the last few years, but they aren’t the right choice for everyone. A small percentage of people with significant hearing loss may need implants.
How Do Cochlear Implants Work?
Cochlear implants don’t rely on damaged portions of the ear, they directly stimulate the auditory nerve, which sends signals directly to the brain. This is an entirely different experience of hearing and takes time to become accustomed to. However, for those who have severe hearing loss or are deaf, it can help them function better. Cochlear implants require surgery and a period of intensive therapy after the procedure. The surgery itself is usually done on an outpatient basis in a few hours. You should review your personal medical history with your physician and go over the risks, but many patients find cochlear implants to be life-changing.