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Cochlear Implants: General Information

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.

Candidates for a cochlear implant must be at least two years old and 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 Ohio Ear Institute Cochlear Implant Program provides two choices of cochlear implants. These implants include the Nucleus 24 Freedom implant made by Cochlear Corporation, and the Clarion 90K implant made by the Advanced Bionics Corporation.

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