It’s important to understand the difference between cochlear implants and hearing aids. Hearing aids merely amplify sound, which does not necessarily make it clearer or easier to understand. Cochlear implants are medical devices that restore the sense of hearing. Considered a medical miracle by many physicians, the cochlear implant is the only device that restores one of the five senses.
A cochlear implant system consists of two main components. The external component, which is worn on the outer ear or discreetly on the body, and the internal component, the implant, which delivers sound to the hearing nerve. Cochlear implants bypass the damaged part of the ear: 1. Sound is captured by a microphone on the sound processor. 2. The sound processor converts the captured sound into detailed digital information. 3. The magnetic headpiece transmits the digital signals to the internal implant under the skin. 4. The implant turns the received digital information into electrical information that travels down the electrode array to the auditory nerve. 5. The auditory nerve sends impulses to the brain, where they are interpreted as sound.