A cochlear implant (CI) is a hearing aid that takes over where a regular hearing aid, which can only amplify sounds, leaves off. CI are designed for people with hearing loss or congenital deafness and can (almost) completely restore the ability to hear. With severe hearing loss, the hair cells in the inner ear are damaged and cannot correctly process and pass on sound information. A CI bypasses the defective hair cells and transfers the sound information as electric impulses directly to the auditory nerve or the brain, where they are perceived as sounds. A CI system is made of two main components: the audio processor and the implant. The audio processor is worn externally: it registers the sound information and sends it to the implant, which sits behind the ear under the skin and processes the information.
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