Patients who have serious hearing loss or individuals with extreme deafness can be helped with a cochlear implant, which is a small electronic device that is surgically implanted. Apart from conventional hearing aids that amplify sound, a cochlear implant stimulates the auditory nerve with electrical signals. The signals are interpreted by the brain as sound, and this facilitates the patient's ability to recognize speech.
Comprised of four distinct parts - conchlear implant devices include: an external microphone that collects sounds, a voice processing unit to transform sounds into digital signals, and a transmitter internally positioned behind the ear that transmits coded audio signals to a receiver. The receiver relays the signals to the brain through the auditory nerve. Cochlear implants provide the greatest benefit to patients with well refined language and communication abilities, who later lost their hearing, as well as early childhood patients still in thier pivotal years of development.
In a procedure referred to as "mapping", cochlear implants are uniquely programmed for the patient, and this is based on their auditory response to electrical signals. The method confirms distinct threshold (T) and comfort (C or M) levels so that sound quality can be properly calibrated by tuning the electrode settings.
To gurantee your cochlear implants remain tuned for your individual needs, regular mapping sessions are necessary. As you adapt to the cochlear implants, over time your threshold levels will change because you will get used to the signal to the point it no longer sounds loud enough, and because of tissue growth in and around the implanted device.