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Health Tip: How a Cochlear Implant Works

Last Updated: December 07, 2017.

(HealthDay News) -- A cochlear implant is a small, electronic device that when surgically placed under the skin, stimulates the nerve endings in the cochlea to provide a sense of sound to a person who is severely hard of hearing.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves of the use of cochlear implants in people aged 1 year and older.

The FDA explains how a cochlear implant works:

  • A surgeon places the implant under the skin next to the ear.
  • The implant receives sound from the outside environment, processes it, and sends small electric currents near the auditory nerve.
  • These currents activate the nerve, which then sends a signal to the brain.
  • The brain learns to recognize this signal and the wearer experiences this as "hearing."

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