Cochlear implant (CI) is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing or has not received any benefit from hearing aids. The cochlear implant is often referred to as a bionic ear.
Cochlear implants have two parts:
- External (outside) parts that include a microphone, a speech processor and a transmitter.
- Internal (Surgically implanted) parts- a receiver-stimulating system fixed to the skull bone behind the ear and electrodes which are inserted into the cochlear.
It is important to note that a cochlear implant does not restore normal hearing. Instead, it provides a deaf person with a useful representation of sounds in the environment to help him or her understand them.
HOW COCHLEAR IMPLANT WORKS.
Cochlear implants bypass damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve i.e signals generated by the implant are sent by way of the auditory nerve the brain, which recognizes the signals as sound. Hearing through a cochlear implant is different from normal hearing and takes time to learn or relearn. However, it allows many people to recognize warning signals, understand other sound in the environment, and go to a regular school and enjoy a conversation in person or by telephone.
BSA is working directly with Cochlear Europe to establish Cochlear Implant Centres in leading Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria. Mapping and maintenance of cochlear implant is being undertaken at BSA facilities in Lagos and Abuja.