Hearing aids enable millions of people with hearing loss to improve their hearing. They do this by amplifying sounds and optimizing them for the best possible benefit. However, when significant hearing loss is present as a result of damage to or malformation of the inner ear, even the most sophisticated hearing aids may not be enough to improve hearing ability to the necessary degree.
What is a Cochlear Implant?
Cochlear implants are hearing devices for people with severe or profound hearing loss due to problems with the inner ear. A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of a damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants do the work of the damaged parts of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain.
How Does a Cochlear Implant Work?
The cochlear implant’s electrodes that deliver signals to the brain are surgically implanted into the cochlea, the organ responsible for converting sounds waves into electrical nerve impulses in the inner ear. These electrodes bypass any damage of the cochlea by sending information directly to the auditory nerve. The auditory nerve then transfers these electrical signals to the brain, where they are processed as the sounds we hear.
The most popular cochlear implant due to innovation and reliability.
CochlearTM Nucleus® System
It’s Been Called a Life Changer. It’s Been Called a Miracle. We Call It a Cochlear Implant.
When a crucial part of your inner ear isn’t working properly, you may need more than a hearing aid—you may need a cochlear implant to treat your moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss. The CochlearTM Nucleus® System mimics the natural hearing function of the inner ear to help make sounds louder and clearer. A cochlear implant bypasses the damaged part of the ear so sounds are better understood in both noisy and quiet environments, enabling you to hear everything from conversations in noisy restaurants to leaves rustling in the wind.
World’s thinnest implant—Cochlear Nucleus Profile Implant
The Nucleus Profile Series implant expands our large implant portfolio by providing the thinnest implant available. Its thin size and design follow the curvature of the head for the potential of a better cosmetic outcome and less time in surgery. Profile Implant also has a high impact resistance—up to 2.5 joules—which meets the European standards for impact testing.
Industry-leading innovations in electrode design for optimal hearing performance
The anatomy of the cochlea can vary from person to person which is why we offer a range of electrode shapes and lengths. Your surgeon will decide on the best one to provide your best hearing performance. Unique features of Cochlear’s electrode portfolio include:
- 22 active contacts** for maximum frequency coverage along the hearing nerve
- The Hybrid L24 Electrode+ that is specifically designed and approved to preserve hearing
- Perimodiolar electrodes that are inserted closest to the hearing nerve for your best hearing performance
- Best long-term implant reliability record in the industry
- Easy to remove magnet to ensure safety and comfort for MRIs
Electrode placement is critical to hearing performance
Cochlear’s electrodes are placed where hearing nerve stimulation is most effective. In order to benefit from the full range of sound, the area closest to the hearing nerve tends to be stimulated. This area is known as the hearing zone.
Clinical research shows that deeper insertion beyond the hearing zone can be associated with deterioration in performance due to pitch confusion at the tip of the cochlea as well as damage to the delicate cochlear structures. Insertion depth along with the most active sequential contacts in the industry—22 electrodes**—help provide access to the full spectrum of sound and a richer hearing experience.
If you want to learn more about Cochlear Americas, please visit their website.
Do I Need a Cochlear Implant?
At Hear Again 2, we perform cochlear implant pre-evaluations. A pre-implant evaluation is necessary to determine if a patient is a candidate for a cochlear implant or not. The evaluation may include an orientation about cochlear implants and how they function, a complete hearing evaluation, and a discussion about reasonable expectations of what cochlear implants can offer. If necessary, the patient may also be referred out for a medical evaluation.
We also offer custom programming for cochlear implants. Cochlear implant programming is like hearing instrument programming since they are both based on the degree of hearing loss and the patient’s sound quality preference. Due to the many fine electrodes the cochlear implant uses, tuning a cochlear implant is a more detailed and precise process. Just like with other hearing devices, we are committed to your success and welcome you back to our office for follow-up visits and regular hearing care.
Contact our office today to learn more about what cochlear implants can do for you and your family.