A cochlear implant is an electronic device, inserted under a general anaesthetic, which stimulates the auditory system, restoring partial hearing in profound sensory deafness. Although there are many types of cochlear implant, they all consist of a microphone, a signal processor, a signal coupler (transmitter and receiver), and an array of electrodes. Most are multi-channel implants. The microphone and signal processor are worn outside the body, like a conventional hearing aid: they receive sound and convert it into an electronic signal which is transmitted through the skin to the receiver. Here the signal is transmitted to the array of electrodes which stimulates the cochlear nerve. Although cochlear implants do not provide normal hearing, most profoundly deaf patients who receive a cochlear implant are able to detect a variety of sounds, including environmental sounds and speech. The duration of hearing-loss and age at implantation are among the many factors which inﬂuence the results (see DEAFNESS).
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