How does a cochlear implant work?

The implant has two components, an externally worn microphone and speech processor and the internal electrode array. The microphone picks up sounds near the ear level and sends it to the speech processor. The speech processor takes the acoustic signal and codes it for speech electrically. The signal is sent to the transmitter worn on the head where it is then sent through the skin to the implanted device. Under the skin, the receiver decodes the signal and sends it to the electrode array. The electrode array distributes the signal and stimulates the nerve endings in the cochlea, producing nerve impulses. The impulses are sent along the hearing nerve to the brain where they are interpreted as sound.