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Cochlear Implants

A cochlear implant is an electronic device that provides partial hearing to patients with severe-to-profound, bilateral hearing loss. The implant is surgically implanted in the inner ear and activated by a device worn outside the ear. Unlike hearing aids, the implant does not make sound louder or clearer. Instead, cochlear implants bypass damaged parts of the inner ear and send electrical ‘sound’ signals directly to the hearing nerve. These sound signals allow individuals who are severe-to-profoundly hearing impaired receive sound.
The Ear Institute of Chicago was the first in Illinois to initiate cochlear implants into the state. This was part of an FDA investigation under the direction of William House, MD.

Candidates for a cochlear implant must receive little or no benefit from a hearing aid (for more information, see “Who is a Candidate”). Patients who had hearing and lost it, or those who never heard may be considered for a cochlear implant.

The Ear Institute of Chicago Cochlear Implant Program provides implants from all three FDA approved cochlear implants in the United States. The manufactures of these implants include Cochlear Americas, Advanced Bionics, and Med-El Corporation. Our center also offers hybrid type cochlear implants and/or speech processors. A hybrid cochlear implant uses a combination of acoustic information and electrical stimulation. The hybrid cochlear implant speech processor is considered for individuals who retain post surgical low frequency hearing. The speech processor combines acoustic amplification for the low frequencies with electric stimulation for the high frequencies.

Please click here for more information as to "How a Cochlear Implant Works".