Hesperian Health Guides
Appendix B: Cochlear implants and hearing
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People are able to hear sounds because a part of the ear called the 'cochlea' sends signals about sound to the brain. If a person's cochlea is damaged, he will not be able to hear well.
A cochlear implant operation is a new way to help some deaf children hear sound. Though it is very expensive, this operation is now available in many countries.
To give someone an 'artificial cochlea', the bones of his head must be cut open in an operation. A small piece of equipment called a 'cochlear implant' is inserted inside the innermost part of the ear.