A cochlear implant is used to treat profoundly deaf people who are not helped by hearing aids. The device consists of tiny electrodes surgically implanted in the cochlea deep in the inner ear and a receiver that is embedded in the skull just behind and above the ear. A microphone, sound processor, and transmitter are worn externally. A cochlear implant does not restore normal hearing, but it enables patterns of sound to be detected. Combined with lip-reading, it may enable speech to be understood.
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.