A cochlear implant (CI) is basically a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. Cochlear implants are often called bionic ears. Continue reading to see what happens when a baby hears for the first time.
Cochlear implants may help provide hearing in patients that are not deaf because of damage to sensory hair cells in their cochleas. In those patients, the implants often can enable sufficient hearing for better understanding of speech. The quality of sound is different from natural hearing, with less sound information being received and processed by the brain. However, many patients are able to hear and understand speech and environmental sounds. Newer devices and processing-strategies allow recipients to hear better in noise, enjoy music, and even use their implant processors while swimming.