cochlear implant
Ears, Nose, Throat

Can Hearing Loss be Restored with Cochlear Implants?

In a world where sound enriches our experiences and connects us to each other, hearing loss can be isolating. However, thanks to remarkable advancements in medical technology, there's newfound hope for those with severe to profound hearing loss through cochlear implants right in central and southern Delaware. Bayhealth ENT (Otolaryngology) Physician David Roberson, MD, MBA, FACS, FRCS, explains what cochlear implants are, who might benefit from them, and how they're transforming lives.

What are Cochlear Implants?

Cochlear implants are sophisticated electronic devices designed to provide a sense of sound to individuals with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss.
“Unlike hearing aids, which amplify sound, cochlear implants work by directly stimulating the auditory nerve,” Dr. Roberson says. “This bypasses damaged hair cells in the cochlea, sending electrical signals to the brain, where they're perceived as sound.”

The implant consists of two main components: an external part worn behind the ear or on the body, and an internal part surgically implanted beneath the skin. The external component captures sounds with a microphone, processes them into digital signals, and transmits them to the internal component via a coil worn on the outside of the head. The internal component then sends these signals to electrodes placed in the cochlea, stimulating the auditory nerve.

Who Could Be a Candidate?

Cochlear implants are typically recommended for people who:

  • Have profound hearing loss in both ears.
  • Have trouble understanding speech even with the use of powerful hearing aids.
  • Face challenges in communication and daily functioning due to their hearing loss.
  • Have a healthy auditory nerve and are medically fit to undergo surgery.

“Children as young as 12 months old can receive cochlear implants, allowing them to develop speech and language skills during critical periods of brain development,” Dr. Roberson says. “Adults who have gradually lost their hearing can also benefit significantly from cochlear implants, regaining the ability to communicate effectively and engage more fully in social interactions and daily activities.”

How Cochlear Implants Help People

The impact of cochlear implants on quality of life cannot be overstated. For many recipients, they open doors to a world of sound they may have thought lost forever.
Cochlear implants represent a remarkable fusion of medical science and engineering, offering renewed hope and possibilities for individuals living with severe to profound hearing loss. By providing access to the world of sound, cochlear implants empower recipients to lead fuller, more connected lives.

Visit to learn more, or call 302-393-5009 to make an appointment.

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