For: Profound Hearing Loss
For individuals with profound hearing loss, hearing aids are of limited benefit as the cochlea is unable to process sounds, however much amplified. With cochlear implants, these patients can once again regain the ability not only to understand environmental sounds but also enjoy social conversations.
The cochlear implant system consists of an external speech processor that sits behind the ear, and an implant portion that is surgically placed under the skin.
How a cochlear implants works
- The microphone in the external speech processor picks up sounds from the environment
- The speech processor analyses the sound and converts it to digital signal
- The digital signals are sent to the coil and transmitted across the skin to the implant
- The internal implant sends the signal to electrodes, which stimulate the hearing nerve directly, bypassing the damaged cochlea
- The brain recognises these signals as sound
It must be noted though, that as hearing through a cochlear implant is different from normal hearing, a substantial amount of time is required for before a user is able to adjust to hearing with the implant.