If you are someone suffering from severe hearing loss, our physicians and audiologists at Florida Otolaryngology Group can perform comprehensive testing to evaluate your hearing and determine if you are a candidate for a cochlear implant. During your visit with us, we will discuss individualized treatment so you can start enjoying the sense of sound again.
A cochlear implant is a small, complex, electronic medical device that stimulates the cochlear nerve, allowing individuals who are hard of hearing to experience the sense of sound. Unlike a hearing aid that simply amplifies sound, a cochlear implant can help you recognize critical environmental sounds, understand speech and language, and significantly increase hearing capability.
How Does A Cochlear Implant Work?
The cochlear implant bypasses the damaged portions of your inner ear and directly stimulates the auditory nerve. The implant will generate signals and send them to the brain through the nerve, which will recognize the signals as sound. To provide this sense of sound, a cochlear implant has both an external and internal portion to it.
The External Components:
A microphone: This picks up the sound from the environment.
A speech processor: This analyzes the sounds and turns them into digital signals.
A transmitter: Transmits the digital signals to the internal receiver.
The Internal Components:
Receiver: This is implanted beneath the skin, behind the ear, and is held to the transmitter via magnets. It receives the digital signals and turns them into electrical impulses.
Cochlea With Electrodes: The electrical impulses are sent to the electrodes located in the cochlea. These, in turn, stimulate the cochlear nerve which forwards them to the brain and results in a sense of hearing.
Hearing the world through a cochlear implant is much different from normal hearing, and as such, patients must undergo hearing therapy and rehabilitation to help them learn how to interpret these sounds.
What Are The Benefits of a Cochlear Implant?
While the benefits vary from person to person, those who successfully complete speech and hearing therapy may experience any of the following benefits.
An improvement in the ability to hear over a period of several months to several years.
You may be able to understand speech without relying on lip-reading.
Your enjoyment of television and music may increase.
You may be able to make telephone calls and understand familiar/unfamiliar voices.
The ability to distinguish loud, medium, and soft sounds such as footsteps, engines, whistling, the rustling of leaves, or the sound of a light switch being turned on and off.
When Is Cochlear Implant Surgery Recommended?
Here at Florida Otolaryngology Group, our physicians and audiologists may recommend a cochlear implant to you if you miss a lot of spoken words or rely heavily on lip-reading, are experiencing severe hearing loss, have found no benefits from hearing aids, or have hearing but find that it is unclear. With the most advanced hearing technologies available at our center, we can determine the electrical potential of a cochlear implant and whether it is the right device for you.
If you are interested in learning more about cochlear implants, please give us a call at (407) 677-0099 or book an appointment here. Our physicians and audiologists are more than happy to bring you in for a consultation, answer any questions you may have, and explain our state-of-the-art diagnostic testing process for cochlear implants.
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Our practice is uniquely qualified and capable of providing unparalleled treatment for the full range of Ear, Nose, & Throat and Head & Neck problems.