Some types of hearing loss can’t be helped by hearing aids. Hearing aids are usually required for people whose hearing has deteriorated due to a loss of hair cells within the cochlea, in which case the amplification from a hearing aid gives them access to softer sounds and speech they otherwise wouldn’t have heard. However, there comes a point where so many of these cells have been lost that a hearing aid can no longer help, no matter how loud it is or how good the technology is.
Cochlear implants are the standard of care in Australia for people with sensorineural hearing loss who receive limited benefit from hearing aids. Here’s how they work:
A sound processor worn behind the ear or on the body, captures sound and turns it into digital code. The sound processor has a battery that powers the entire system.
The sound processor transmits the digitally-coded sound through the coil on the outside of your head to the implant.
The implant converts the digitally-coded sound into electrical impulses and sends them along the electrode array placed in the cochlea (the inner ear).
The implant's electrodes stimulate the cochlea's hearing nerve, which then sends the impulses to the brain where they are interpreted as sound.
Before starting his own practice, Mitch spent several years working as a clinical specialist for Cochlear Limited. He has learned an extremely high standard of care from some of the best cochlear implant audiologists and surgeons in the country.