Cochlear Implants: Technology

A cochlear implant (CI) is an auditory prosthesis developed to treat severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). Hearing loss is sensorineural (rather than conductive) when the hearing dysfunction is located at the inner ear (cochlea) or along the neural pathway that connects the cochlea to the brain. SNHL can occur congenitally from genetic causes or from complications during the prenatal or early postnatal periods. It can also be acquired as a result of disease, injury, tumors, ototoxic drugs, noise exposure, or aging. SNHL usually involves damage to the cochlea's hair cells, which vibrate in response to sound. These vibrations induce nerve cells to send signals to the brain that cause the sensation of hearing. Damage to the hair cells is permanent and cannot be repaired by ...

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