Cochlear Implant & BAHA
Cochlear implants – tiny electronic devices surgically implanted behind the ear — have given the gift of hearing to thousands of children and adults. Cochlear implants are not hearing aids, which amplify sounds the ear already hears; rather, while the implants do not restore a deaf person’s hearing, they help a person to understand the sounds in their environment, such as speech. The implant consists of a microphone to pick up sound, a speech processor to process that sound, a transmitter/receiver which converts the sound information to electrical impulses, and electrodes that send those impulses to the brain. Over 20,000 adults and children in the U.S. have benefited from cochlear implants. Implants can be useful for adults who associate sounds made through the implant with sounds they heard earlier in life when their hearing was better; early implantation and therapy can help children as young as two years old to learn speech and other auditory comprehension skills.