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What is a cochlear implant?
A cochlear implant is a specialized technology that allows individuals with severe to profound hearing loss to hear and understand sound. The cochlear implant electrically stimulates nerve cells in the inner ear (cochlea) which then sends a signal up the hearing nerve to the brain. In doing so, the cochlear implant bypasses the problem affecting people with severe to profound hearing loss that prevents them from benefiting from hearing aids.
How does a cochlear implant work?
There are two parts to a cochlear implant; an external component which consists of a microphone, speech processor and transmitter, and an internal component which consists of a receiver/stimulator and electrode array.
The implant works in the following way.
The internal component is placed by a surgical procedure and is in position at all times under the skin. After surgery, the external component is programmed for the patient. It is worn similar to a hearing aid with the person placing the external device in the morning and removing at night before going to bed. The external device is usually worn as an ear level processor that sits behind the ear, or for very young children, a body worn processor may be used.
Who is a potential candidate for a cochlear implant?
What steps are necessary to be considered for a cochlear implant?