How does a Cochlear Implant work?
A cochlear implant works by stimulating the auditory
nerves of a seriously deaf patient.
It is different from the commercially
available hearing aid.
The hearing aid amplifies sound adaptable to different
volumes and situations. The cochlear implant helps by working to activate
the acoustic sensory nerves present in the inner ear so that they can send
messages to the brain to help the patient communicate.
Thus the cochlear
implant compensates for the damaged or non working parts of the ear. Cochlear
implants available today work to help full communication in person and over
Cochlear implants work for patients who may have normal outer
and inner ear functions but total or near total malfunction of the inner ear.
When a patient chooses to use a bionic ear or cochlear implant, a device with
electrodes usually 24 in number is surgically implanted into the inner ear.
is connected to an external hearing assistive device fitted behind the ear which
contains an impulse converter mechanism. The microphone in the external device
picks up sounds, the sounds are converted into electric signals that are sent to
the speech processor also contained in the external device.
The speech processor
changes the signals into pulses using a process called coding. These pulses are
sent to a coil which converts them into FM radio waves.
The radio waves are sent
across the skin to the implanted device. The implant then stimulates the
The electrodes activate the auditory nerves present in the
cochlea which send sound recognizer pulses to the brain. The cochlear implant
generated sound is different from the sound recognized by a normal hearer.
Nevertheless cochlear implants work to restore full communication and
have helped many patients regain the nerve to converse in public and over the
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