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Cochlear Implants

Cochlear Implants Treatment

A cochlear implant is a device that is placed in the ear via cochlear implant surgery. The device is designed to bypass damaged sensory cells in the inner ear (cochlea) and provide sound sensation to individuals with severe to profound deafness.

Most sensorineural deafness is caused by damaged or missing hair cells (shown in green in the above illustration). Auditory neurons, however, often survive and can be stimulated by electrical current passed through an electrode that is placed in the cochlea.

The cochlear implant internal device consists of an antenna that receives coded electrical signals from the external speech processor. It then sends the signals to the electrode within the cochlea where they stimulate auditory nerve fibers.

An externally worn transmitter sends coded sound information to the cochlear implant internal electrodes which, in turn, stimulate surviving neurons in the cochlea.

External cochlear implant equipment is designed to be worn behind the ear like a hearing aid. The speech processor consists of a microphone that picks up sound, a computer chip that processes and digitizes the sound, and a coil that transmits the electrical pulses to the internal receiver that sits under the skin behind the ear.

The transmitter coil connects to the internal receiver by means of a magnet which holds the coil in place on the side of the head.

Using the cochlear implant, profoundly deaf individuals are able to hear and understand speech. Most children are able to hear conversation without lip-reading and use spoken language for everyday communication. More than 75% of adult cochlear implant patients hear well enough to use the telephone for conversation.

The Apelian Cochlear Implant Center at North Shore-LIJ

The North Shore-LIJ Health System is a recognized leader in newborn hearing screening and early identification and treatment of hearing loss. We have a comprehensive and coordinated approach to hearing health care for individuals throughout the life span. The system provides specialized services for individuals with severe to profound hearing loss who cannot be helped with conventional hearing aids. We provide a full range of services for the evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation of children and adults who may benefit from cochlear implants.

Our professionals are highly trained and experienced specialists, ready to serve hearing impaired individuals and their families with expert and compassionate care. The team includes neurotologic surgeons, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, a social worker and an educator. This team of experts assists our patients through every step of the process to help them make informed decisions and derive the maximum benefit from the cochlear implant surgery. Families and educators are invaluable members of the team providing constant day-to-day support for the cochlear implant recipient.