Cochlear implants

The cochlea is the inner part of the ear which is shaped like a snail shell and consists of thousands of tiny hair cells which vibrate in response to sound. These vibrations are converted into electrical signals which are carried to the brain by the auditory nerve and are interpreted and given meaning. When these hair cells are damaged then sensori-neural deafness occurs.

A cochlear implant basically replaces the hair cells that have been damaged. This provides the brain with electrical signals, giving a sensation of sound. Electrodes are surgically implanted into the cochlea within the skull and are connected to a receiver which is implanted in the skull behind the ear. The external part consists of the speech processor (which is body-worn or sits behind the ear), a lead, a transmitter coil and a microphone.

Source: Ear Foundation

The implant gives partial hearing. Although it does not make sound louder or clearer, as a hearing aid does, it bypasses the damaged areas of the auditory system and stimulates the nerve of hearing.

Without being able to hear others speak, a profoundly deaf child would find it extremely difficult to develop any spoken language which would, of course, impact on their every day life, education and quality of life in later years employment.

A cochlear implant gives these children hope. With post implant care and support these children will have the opportunity to leave their silent world behind them and to develop good and intelligible spoken language themselves.

For further information please visit British Cochlear Implant Group.

Show your support: Destiny of a Child relies on the generosity of people like you to fund its work amongst profoundly deaf children, physically disabled children and Aids orphans.

Cochlear implants

Registered Charity: 1096499. Registered in England and Wales.
© 2010 Destiny of a Child. All Rights Reserved. 1 Park Lane, Sevenoaks Kent, TN13 3UP