How does a cochlear implant work?
A cochlear implant works by electrically stimulating the hearing nerves. When a patient receives a cochlear implant, it means their ear is not working in a typical or natural way. Therefore, the cochlear implant is surgically placed behind their ear, and rather than using the natural ear (pinna, ear canal, ear drum, ossicles etc) to receive sound and send it to the inner ear, the sound is received at the cochlear implant's microphone and then changed to electrical signals, which are sent directly to the inner ear, bypassing the normal sound delivery system. Modern cochlear implants are amazing. The majority of patients receiving cochlear implants can speak on the phone, and cochlear implants in 2005, are about the same size as traditional behind-the-ear hearing aids.