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  • What are cochlear implants?

    What are cochlear implants?

    About cochlear implants

    Cochlear implants can provide viable hearing alternatives to anybody who doesn’t benefit from typical hearing aids. They consist of a receiver which is implanted in the mastoid bone, behind the ear and electrodes which are implanted into the cochlea (inner ear). The microphone and speech processor are located externally and they convert sounds into electrical impulses which are transmitted to the electrodes implanted in the inner ear. The electrodes use the auditory nerve to communicate these signals to the brain, which perceives the impulses as sound.

    Who uses cochlear implants?

    Around 7,500 people in the UK are considered audiologically suitable for a cochlear implant and there are currently around 11,000 people already utilising cochlear implants. Children or adults with severe or profound deafness could well benefit from cochlear implants. Additionally, cochlear implants can make a real difference to anybody who struggles with the use of traditional hearing aids. Bone conducting hearing implants are another form of implanted hearing treatment, which can benefit anyone with conductive or mixed hearing loss. Around 10,000 people in the UK currently use bone conducting hearing implants.

    About bone conducting hearing implants

    A bone conducting hearing implant is suitable for people with single-sided deafness and will transmit sound to the good ear. People with conductive hearing loss experience a problem with sound travelling freely to the cochlea, which could be caused by abnormalities in the structure of the ear or blockages, due to excess ear wax or middle ear fluids. A mixed hearing loss is a result of the loss of hair cells within the cochlea or the hearing nerve.

    Bone conducting hearing implants work via direct bone conduction and are independent of the ear and the ear canal. They consist of a small titanium screw which is implanted into the skull to provide an anchor for the sound processor and an abutment which is attached to the screw and provides a base for the sound processor. The sound processor acts in a way that’s similar to the middle ear and converts sound waves into vibrations which can be passed to the inner ears.

    Cochlear implants – where to get more information

    We are pleased to have been appointed as a reseller of the Advanced Bionics (AB) range of cochlear implant accessories and components, including AquaCase – the world’s first waterproof case for cochlear implant recipients. These accessories set the standard in quality and innovation, while allowing recipients to customise their AB sound processors to fit their needs—all weather, all sports, all terrain, all ages and all lifestyles. Please get in touch if you’d like to talk to us about cochlear implant accessories.

    You can read about the accessories we provide in our Cochlear Implant Accessories section.

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