How do cochlear implants work?

If you’ve been using a hearing aid but still have difficulty hearing or communicating, cochlear implants may be a great option. Unlike hearing aids, cochlear implants “bypass the damaged inner ear and deliver electrical stimulation directly to the hearing nerve” (American Academy of Audiology). For this reason, cochlear implants are able to benefit people whose ears no longer respond to the amplification offered by hearing aids. Cochlear implants consist of both an external and internal part. The internal part is surgically implanted during an outpatient procedure and cannot be seen from the outside; the external part is similar in appearance to a hearing aid that wraps behind the ear. This external part is fitted and programmed by your audiologist.

According to the Academy of Audiology, everyone responds differently to cochlear implants. Although it does take time to get used to listening with the implant, many people are able to use the phone and even listen to music after a few months. Most implant users also communicate with others and understand speech well. People who receive cochlear implants generally work with a variety of specialists throughout the procedure and trial period, including a speech-language pathologist, who can help restore a sense of normality in everyday conversation.

If you have any questions about cochlear implants or think you could be a good candidate for the procedure, talk to an audiologist on your True Dental Discounts, hearing plan. He or she will evaluate your hearing and help you determine if implants are right for your lifestyle and individual needs.

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