Hesperian Health Guides

Appendix B: Cochlear implants and hearing

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Deaf > Appendix B: Cochlear implants and hearing


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.

Image of the below.
the inside of the ear
cochlea
The cochlea is a small part of the ear inside the head. It is shaped like a snail's shell.


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.