Is a Cochlear Implant Right for Me?

What is a Cochlear Implant?

A cochlear implant is a small electronic device, similar to a pacemaker, which helps restore hearing function for those who have severe to profound hearing loss. This device is surgically implanted underneath the scalp and a small electrode is threaded into the inner ear so that electrical impulses can stimulate hearing.

 

How Do Cochlear Implants Work?

Through the implant, sound is converted from acoustic energy into electrical energy. Normally, sound travels through three separate compartments of the ear: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. A cochlear implant bypasses the outer ear and the middle ear to cause direct stimulation on the inner ear and transmission of this information to the brain.

Who Benefits from Cochlear Implants?

According to studies, only about 6 percent of Americans who could benefit from a cochlear implant actually have one. Per the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, about 190,0000 people worldwide have gotten implants. In the USA, only 41,000 adults and 26,0000 children have cochlear implants. Cochlear implants may help adults and children with profound hearing loss.

People who lose their hearing later in life are often great candidates with cochlear implants because they can correlate the signal emitted by from the implant to sounds they remember.  With therapy, adults will be able to understand speech again.

What happens during cochlear implant surgery?

Cochlear implant surgery is done at Miracle Mile Medical Group. The surgery lasts two to four hours. You are given general anesthesia before the procedure.

  • The surgeon makes a cut behind the ear and then opens the mastoid bone.
  • The surgeon identifies the facial nerves and creates an opening between them to access the cochlea, which is then opened. He or she inserts the implant electrodes into the cochlea.
  • The surgeon places an electronic device called the receiver under the skin behind the ear, securing it to the skull in this area.
  • The incisions are then closed, and you will be moved into the recovery area and watched closely.
  • You will be discharged after at least two hours of observation.