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What is a cochlear implant?

Coch implant receive electrode 2Cochlear implants are electronic devices that can help profoundly and severely deaf people to hear.

There are different sorts of cochlear implant, but they all have internal and external parts.

The internal parts

The internal parts consist of a receiver and an electrode array.  These are implanted during surgery. The receiver goes under the skin, just behind the ear. The electrode goes deep inside the cochlea, or inner ear.

The external parts consist of a transmitter coil, a lead and a sound processor with microphone and batteries. These are fitted and tuned about 1 month after surgery. The transmitter coil is held in the right place by a magnet. Adults and older children usually wear their sound processor tucked over their ear like a hearing aid.

Because they have tiny ears, small children and babies usually wear all or some of their sound processor clipped on their clothes.

The external parts can be taken on and off at any time, but cochlear implant users usually wear them all day long, except when swimming or taking a bath.

Cochlear implants are being improved all the time. At WEHIP, adults are offered a cochlear implant made by one of the three leading manufacturers, Advanced Bionics, Cochlear or MED-EL. Children are offered implants made by Cochlear or MED-EL.

Advanced Bionics: www.advancedbionics.com/

Cochlear: http://www.cochlear.com/
MED-EL: http://www.medel.com/