What are cochlear ear implants?
The inner ear implant system consists of several technologies that work together to restore hearing by sending sound directly to the auditory nerve. The first is an internal component (implant and electrode array) implanted by the surgeon, and the second is a series of external components that are worn to the ear and attached to the implant (headgear and processor).
Inner ear implant technology has developed significantly over the last 30+ years.
1. The microphone receives sound that is transmitted to the speech processor.
2. In the speech processor, signals are filtered, analyzed, and encoded into a transmitter ring.
3. The transmitter ring is attached to the receiver by a magnet, which is placed under the skin during the operation. The receiver sends signals to the electrodes placed in the cochlea.
4. Electrodes activated by the signals stimulate the auditory nerve.
5. The auditory nerve sends electrical impulses to the auditory center of the brain, where they are interpreted as sounds.