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JAMA Otolaryngology Patient Page
September 26, 2019

Cochlear Implant Surgery

Author Affiliations
  • 1School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Medical Center University Hospitals, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2Case Western Reserve University, Lerner College of Medicine Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online September 26, 2019. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaoto.2019.2274

When someone cannot understand what people are saying—even when using hearing aids—a cochlear implant may help.

Instead of sending louder sounds into the ear, a cochlear implant works differently. The hearing detection cells (hair cells) are damaged or missing in many people with hearing loss. Cochlear implants send sound as electric signals beyond that damaged part of the inner ear (cochlea), straight to the hearing nerve. Cochlear implants are used to help both children and adults to hear sounds and understand speech.

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