What is a cochlear implant



20121013-121513.jpgA Cochlear implant is an artificial hearing device designed to produce hearing sensations by electrically stimulating nerves inside the inner ear. The receiver contains electronic circuits that control the flow of electrical pulses to the ear. It also contains an antenna that receives radio frequency signal from the external coil and magnet that holds the external coil in place. Attached to the receiver is a 22 electrode array that is inserted into the shell-like structure of the cochlear in the inner ear. All these parts are placed under the patients skin behind their ear during the implant operation.




The other parts of the implant system are worn externally. The sound processor is worn behind the ear. The sound processor utilises a microphone to detect sounds and speech, electronics to analyse the sound and a transmitting coil provides power to the speech processor and implant. The sound processor also contains the “map” or set of instructions that controls the output of the implant. The processor is programmed specifically for each individual ear to make sure it is matched to the requirements of the nerves in the person’s ear.


Illustration of Electric Acoustic Stimulation,...

Illustration of Electric Acoustic Stimulation, a combination of hearing aid and a cochlear implant in the same ear. Deutsch: Schemazeichnung Elektrisch Akustische Stimulation, eine Kombination von Hörgerät und Cochlear-Implantat im selben Ohr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


English: Photograph of the implanted portion o...

English: Photograph of the implanted portion of a cochlear implant. The specific device shown is manufactured by Advanced Bionics. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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