About Cochlear Implants
A cochlear implant is a device used to treat sensorineural hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss is one of the most common forms of hearing loss, related to the natural process of aging or to exposure to loud noise over an extended period of time. With sensorineural hearing loss, the hair cells of the inner ear are permanently damaged and no longer relay signals to the brain to be processed as sound.
For people with sensorineural hearing loss, a cochlear implant assists in the hearing process. According to the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), “With a cochlear implant, the damaged hair cells are bypassed, and the auditory nerve is stimulated directly. The cochlear implant does not result in ‘restored’ or ‘cured’ hearing. It does, however, allow for the perception of the sensation of sound.”
Cochlear implants consist of two parts, external and internal. The internal part of the cochlear implant is surgically implanted, and consists of a receiver and electrodes. The external part of the implant, which consists of a microphone, speech processor, and transmitter, picks up sound from your environment. These sounds make their way to the internal part, which takes transmitted electric signals and stimulates the auditory nerve, thus allowing you to perceive sound.
Cochlear Implant Companies
Advanced Bionics, an American company based out of California and a sister company to Phonak, offers two options, the Naida Q90 CI and the Neptune. The Naida Q90 CI processor allows you access to speech and music sounds, with automatic adaption to any listening environment through features like Ultrazoom and ClearVoice. The Naida Q90 CI also has access to bluetooth accessories and a waterproof case called the AquaCase. The Neptune processor is an off-the-ear and water-proof option for adults and children. For people with active lifestyles, both the Naida Q90 CI and Neptune processors provides confidence in any activity.
Cochlear Americas is one of the leading top three cochlear implant companies based out of Austraila. Their newest model is the Nucleus 6 System, which provides six excellent features: superior hearing, natural hearing, adaptation to your environment, a small sound processor, wireless freedom, and water resistance with Aqua+. SmartSoundiQ provides you with a fully automated sound management system, giving you access to sounds in diverse environments. Speech in noise is elucidated with two microphones, which help you focus on the speaker you want to hear. At the same time, background noise is suppressed to provide a comfortable listening experience. SmartSound iQ also provides flexibility when adjusting to quiet sounds, sounds in wind, and to music listening. Nucleus 6 also provides wireless connectivity, through the Cochlear True Wireless technology. With wireless accessories, connect to your phone or home entertainment systems for unfettered sound.
Synchrony is a cochlear implant system from MED-EL, designed to restore hearing for people with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss. Synchrony is one of the smallest, thinnest, and lightest cochlear implants available on the market, made of durable titanium. For added peace of mind, Synchrony’s implant magnet rotates freely, making it MRI-safe. Synchrony is carefully designed to be comfortable and flexible, to accommodate the cochlear structures and protect your residual hearing. With Synchrony, you’ll experience a full range of sounds, from speech to music, with Triformance. Triformance consists of three interconnected technologies to provide excellent sound: Complete Cochlear Coverage, FineHearing, and Structure Preservation. In conjunction, these three features capture a full spectrum of sounds, while also protecting the delicate nerve cells of your inner ear. The Synchrony system from MED-EL utilizes their newest external processors called the Sonnet and the Rondo, both designed for comfort and discretion.