Cochlear implants (CIs) for people with hearing loss

Cochlear implants

One of the remarkable recent technological achievements that affect people with hearing loss is the cochlear implant. This device is a source of controversy among the culturally Deaf, some of whom see it as a threat to their culture. Among the late deafened and oral deaf, however, the cochlear implant is viewed as nothing short of a miracle.

No one maintains that cochlear implants restore normal hearing, nor are implants uniformly successful for all recipients. They work by bypassing the cochlear hair cells, defects of which are a common cause of deafness. Receiving a cochlear implant requires a surgical procedure that includes drilling a hole behind the ear and inserting a wire into the cochlea. The wire is actually a collection of electrodes, each of which is sensitive to a different frequency range and stimulates the auditory nerve with the corresponding frequency.

This section contains general information about cochlear implants, the technology, and the experiences of people who use CIs. For information on specific products, please visit our information on the three main CI Manufacturers.

Our CI Information page provides both general and detailed information regarding cochlear implant technology, candidates, current devices, expected improvements, etc.

  • Bilateral Cochlear Implants
  • Hybrid Cochlear Implant
  • Totally Implantable Cochlear Implants
  • Children and Cochlear Implants
  • Cochlear Implant Risks
  • Cochlear Implant Technology
  • Adult Cochlear Implant Candidates
  • Medical Considerations of the Cochlear Implant
  • Mapping Cochlear Implants
  • Cochlear Implant Surgery
  • Music and the Cochlear Implant
  • Audiological Rehabilitation for CI Users

Here are some great stories people have written about their cochlear implant experiences.

Interested in the CI controversy within the hearing loss community? Then check out the information on the CI Controversy page.

Most people who have CIs think they’re great! But one requirement is that the auditory nerve must be intact. Suppose that nerve has been destroyed or damaged – is there anything that can help restore hearing in those cases? The answer is, “Yes”. The device, which is a cousin of the Cochlear Implant, is the Auditory Brainstem Implant.

If you’re looking for information on a specific cochlear implant, please see the Cochlear Implant portion of our Resource Directory.

March 2011 – Waterproofing CI Processor with a Balloon

January 2011 – Cochlear Implant Comparison Chart

November 2007 – What a Cochlear Implant Is NOT and What It IS

November 2006 – Soap Opera Character Gets Cochlear Implant

Waterproofing CI Processor with a Balloon – March 2011

I’m not sure that swimming while wearing your cochlear implant is a good idea under any circumstances. But if you must, I guess waterproofing the CI first makes a lot of sense. Here’s one way to do it using a balloon. I have to admit, I’d be pretty nervous about doing this, but I suppose I’d give it a shot if it was really important to one of my kids. The instructions provided deal with Cochlear implants, but I would think a similar approach would work for other CIs. Here’s a link to the instructions. But remember, I’m not suggesting you try it! Here are the instructions!

Cochlear Implant Comparison Chart – January 2011

I don’t know anything about this chart or the folks who put it together, but the claim is that it’s an objective comparison of the three cochlear implants available in the US. There is a lot of information there, and what I saw in a brief examination did appear to be informative and unbiased. Here’s the chart!

Drugs & Conditions