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- The ‘cochlea’ is the name of the inner part if your ear.
- If the cochlea is damaged, a cochlear implant may be recommended.
- A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device.
- It does the work of the damaged parts of the cochlea.
- It provides sound signals to the brain.
- Adults and children can have cochlear implants.
How a cochlear implant works
- A cochlear implant has two parts.
- The first part processes sound. You wear it behind your ear. It has a battery to power the implant.
- It sends special signals to a device called a ‘transmitting coil’.
- This is put on the side of your head and sends the signals through your skin to the receiver.
- You have surgery to implant the receiver.
- The receiver sends information to your inner ear and brain that becomes sound.
- Visit the Cochlear website to learn more about cochlear implants.
What you can expect from a cochlear implant
- It is important to know a cochlear implant does not restore your ‘normal’ hearing.
- The sound you hear will be different for each person.
- For some people, it becomes easy to understand and hear people speak.
- Other people hear sound but may also need to lip-read.
- It will be hard for you to hear if you are in a busy and noisy place.
How much you will hear with a cochlear implant
This will depend upon:
- how long you have had a hearing loss
- the level and type of your hearing loss
- how your brain understands the signal from the cochlear implant.
How to get a cochlear implant for your child
- Your child will get a test from a ‘specialist implant audiologist’.
- This is a doctor who specialises in hearing and cochlear implants.
- They will give you information about how the cochlear implant may help your child.
- Our audiologist can arrange for you to meet with someone who already has a cochlear implant.
- Your child will then have tests with a ‘specialist implant speech pathologist’.
- This is a doctor who will review their speech and language.
- It is important to get support through this process.
- We can help you get the right practical and emotional support.
Where to get support if your child has a cochlear implant
We provide long-term support. This helps your child get the most out of a cochlear implant. This support includes:
- helping your child get used to the new sounds
- speech and language therapy programs
- regular programming of the speech processor
- information for teachers and other people your child spends time with
- information an about additional services that may help your child
- helping you understand how to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).