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How does a cochlear implant work?

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It's for children and adults with sensorineural hearing loss, a condition that typically involves damage to tiny hair cells in a part of your inner ear called the cochlea. These hair cells usually pick up the vibrations of sounds and send them to the brain through the auditory nerve. When they’re damaged, sound can't reach that nerve. A cochlear implant skips the damaged hair cells and sends signals directly to the auditory nerve.

From: Understanding Cochlear Implants WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Merck Manual: "Hearing Loss and Deafness."

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: "NIDCD Fact Sheet: Cochlear Implants."

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: "Cochlear Implants."

FDA: "Benefits and Risks of Cochlear Implants," "Cochlear Implants: Before, During and After Surgery."

Reviewed by Brandon Isaacson on June 1, 2016

SOURCES:

Merck Manual: "Hearing Loss and Deafness."

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: "NIDCD Fact Sheet: Cochlear Implants."

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: "Cochlear Implants."

FDA: "Benefits and Risks of Cochlear Implants," "Cochlear Implants: Before, During and After Surgery."

Reviewed by Brandon Isaacson on June 1, 2016

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What does a cochlear implant look like?

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