A cochlear implant is an electronic device, which can provide useful hearing to children and adults who get little or no benefit from conventional hearing aids.
A cochlear implant turns sound into electrical pulses which are sent directly to the nerve of hearing. This is different to conventional hearing aids, which work by making sounds louder.
Cochlear implants consist of two parts:
The external part looks very similar to a hearing aid, although it works quite differently. It consists of a microphone, a sound processor and a lightweight transmitter coil with a magnet in the middle. The microphone and speech processor convert sound into an electrical signal which is sent via the transmitter coil to the internal receiver and on to the electrodes in the inner ear.
The internal part is called the receiver and it lies under the skin behind the ear. The receiver picks up the signal from the transmitter coil and takes it via a thin wire into the inner ear or cochlear, where it is then sent along the auditory nerve to the brain.
Watch this video (with captions & BSL) to find out more...