What is a cochlear implant?

A cochlear implant is an electronic device that can help some people to hear. The device has both internal and external components.

The internal components are surgically implanted in the mastoid area behind the ear. The implanted portion consists of a receiver and an electrode array in the inner ear to stimulate the cochlea.

The external part consists of a microphone, a programmed speech processor, and a transmitting coil.

Although cochlear implants do not restore “normal” hearing, they do provide a positive option for those with severe to profound hearing loss. Cochlear implants have been performed in a number of centres in Canada since the 1990’s, and are considered a safe and viable option for certain types of hearing loss.

For more information, visit the Canadian Academy of Audiology web site http://www.canadianaudiology.ca/consumers/cochlear/