Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hearing Loss and Cochlear Implants

A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted device.  Those with severe to profound hearing loss who do not do well with hearing aids may be a candidate.  Since it is a surgical procedure, one must also be a good candidate for surgery.

A cochlear implant consists of three parts; an electrode array, magnets and a sound processor.  The electrode array is a thin wire with electrodes on it.  The array is inserted into the spiral portion of the inner ear called the cochlea.  The electrode array stimulates the hearing nerves. The other end of the array is attached to a magnet that is placed under the skin on the side/back of the head.  The sound processor looks similar to a hearing aid.  It is placed over the ear and has a magnet connected by a wire that connects to magnet under the scalp.  Typically one ear is implanted.

Sound is picked up by a microphone in the sound processor.  It is sent to the external magnet where it is transferred to the magnet under the skin.  The signal is travels to the electrode array, electrically stimulating the hearing nerves in the inner ear.  The ear perceives this electrical stimulation as sound and sends the information along the auditory nerve up to the brain.

If you think you are a candidate for a cochlear implant, have a hearing evaluation.    

Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!

Jane Kukula, AuD
Paula Webster, MA

Advanced Audiology Concepts
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060

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