What are Cochlear Implants?
A cochlear implant is an electronic device that improves hearing. It can be an option for people who have severe hearing loss from inner-ear damage and who are not able to hear well with hearing aids. Unlike hearing aids, which amplify sound, a cochlear implant bypasses damaged portions of the ear to deliver sound signals to the hearing (auditory) nerve.
Cochlear implants use a sound processor that fits behind the ear. The processor captures sound signals and sends them to a receiver implanted under the skin behind the ear. The receiver sends the signals to electrodes implanted in the snail-shaped inner ear (cochlea).
The signals stimulate the auditory nerve, which then directs the signals to the brain. The brain interprets those signals as sounds, though these sounds won’t be just like natural hearing.
Why are Cochlear Implants Done?
Cochlear implants can improve hearing in people with severe hearing loss who are no longer helped by using hearing aids. Cochlear implants can improve their communication and quality of life.
Cochlear implants may be placed in one ear (unilateral) or both ears (bilateral). Adults will often have one cochlear implant and one hearing aid at first. Adults may then progress to two cochlear implants as the hearing loss advances in the hearing aid ear. Cochlear implants are often placed in both ears at the same time in children with bilateral severe hearing loss — particularly for infants and children who are learning to speak and process language.
People who have cochlear implants report improved:
- Ability to hear speech without needing visual cues such as reading lips
- Recognition of everyday environmental sounds
- Ability to listen in a noisy environment
- Ability to find where sounds are coming from
- Ability to hear television programs, music, and telephone conversations
- Symptoms of ringing or buzzing (tinnitus) in the implanted ear
Who Can Have Cochlear Implant?
To be eligible for a cochlear implant, you must have:
- Hearing loss that interrupts spoken communication
- Limited benefit from hearing aids as determined by specialized hearing tests
- Motivation to participate in hearing rehabilitation and be part of the hearing world
- Realistic expectations of what cochlear implants can and can’t do for hearing
How Can Simple Hearing and Speech Care Help You?
Simple Hearing and Speech Care are founded by Dr. Suravi Dash. She worked along with eminent hospitals and professionals as a certified Sr. Audiologist and Speech Therapist in Pune and PCMC. Dr. Suravi has more than 13 years of experience at various organizations in metro cities across India and now in Pune. She has acquired all-around expertise in new advanced techniques of auditory verbal therapy in Pune.