What is cochlear implant?
Cochlear implant is a surgically implanted device that helps people with severe to profound hearing loss to be able to hear sounds. Cochlear implant works very differently from traditional hearing aids. Hearing aids amplify sounds acoustically, while cochlear implant stimulates the auditory nerve electrically .
How does cochlear implant work?
For people with severe to profound hearing loss, the sensory organ, namely hair cells inside the cochlea are severely damaged. Due to the severe damage, sounds can hardly be detected by the cochlea even they are amplified by the hearing aid . Cochlear implant bypasses the damaged parts of the ear and stimulate the auditory nerve directly to generate signals, which allows the brain to interpret the signals as sounds .
Components of a cochlear implant
The cochlear implant consists of several components :
- Microphone – picks up the sounds from the environment
- Speech/Sound processor – converts the acoustic sounds into electrical signals
- Transmitter – sends the signal to the receiver/stimulator
- Receiver/stimulator – receives signal data and decodes into stimulation signal
- Electrode array – delivers electrical stimulation to the auditory nerve
What happens after cochlear implant?
Like hearing aids, cochlear implants also require frequent reviews and adjustments. This programming and adjustment process is called cochlear mapping .
During a mapping session, the audiologist or cochlear implant specialist will adjust the settings based on the user’s response to a series of beep sounds. This is to optimize the functionality of the cochlear implant .
During a cochlear implant mapping session, you should bring along all your accessories (including the processor and backup processor, if any) as they can be important for the overall mapping process. You should also voice out your concerns, such as the sounds get distorted, too loud, or abnormal. A successful cochlear mapping requires effort from both the audiologist or cochlear specialist, and you.
We provide Cochlear Mapping services in our Novena clinic, feel free to reach out to our Audiologist for an appointment.
- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Cochlear Implants. Retrieved 12th October, 2021, from https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/cochlear-implants.
- Center for Hearing & Speech. Cochlear Implants and Mapping. Retrieved 12th October, 2021, from https://chsstl.org/hearing/hearing-aids/cochlear-implants-mapping/.
UCI Head & Neck. Cochlear Implant Evaluation & Mapping Services. Retrieved 12th October, 2021, from https://uciaudiology.com/hearing-aids-cochlear-implants/cochlear-implant-evaluation-mapping-services/