A cochlear implant is a small, surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. It consists of an external portion that sits behind the ear, like a hearing aid, and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin. External components of the cochlear implant include a microphone, speech processor and a radio frequency transmitter.
The surgically implanted device is meant to last a lifetime. However, there have been some cases in which there has been equipment failure and the device was surgically replaced.
The implant may make a small bump under the skin behind your ear. Your hair may cover the scar, the bump, and the device worn outside your ear. You may have mild to moderate pain in and around your ear and have a headache for a few days. You may have some popping or clicking in your ear and feel dizzy.
The implant doesn’t make you hear normally again, but it can help you with sounds. Most people with severe to profound hearing loss can understand speech in person or over the phone better than they did with a hearing aid. It can usually help you know sounds around you, including telephones, doorbells, and alarms.
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