Hearing and Balance


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hear again?

No matter how smart hearing aids are, even if they have the technology of a personal computer, it’s not 100% guaranteed to improve the hearing health of everyone. This is where another alternative enters the scene – say hello to the cochlear implant.

A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing. The implant consists of an external portion that sits behind the ear and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin.

If you are deaf, a cochlear implant may be able to help. It doesn’t restore normal hearing; instead, it can give a deaf person an idea of what is happening in the environment and how voices sound.

This surgery has been performed over one million times worldwide since its inception in 1984. It’s safe and effective for most people with severe hearing loss. To know more about cochlear implants, please contact us at PA Center for Hearing and Balance. We are here to help!


For you to better understand how a cochlear implant works, let’s have an overview of its basic parts:


The microphone of the cochlear implant is responsible for picking up sounds (including voices)  from the environment around you.


Speech Processor

All cochlear implants also have a speech processor in order to select and process the sounds picked up by the microphone.


Transmitter and Regulator/Receiver

The transmitter and regulator receive the signals and converts them to electric impulses.


Electrode Array

Finally a group of electrodes consolidate the impulses sent by the stimulator and then distribute them to different areas of the auditory nerve.  



Cochlear implants are a medical device that helps people with hearing loss make sounds louder, clearer, or different auditory sensations such as music more enjoyable for them. Not everyone can use this device because it is not an option for those who have lost their hearing due to nerve damage or ear infection. 

If you’re looking into cochlear implants, we offer consultation services at PA Center for Hearing and Balance. We advocate for early intervention – early intervention is key. Opportunity for improvement decreases over time as hearing loss worsens. This is especially true for children — an implant may have more benefit the sooner it is provided for a child. 

The cochlear implant seems like a great option for those who are not sufficiently helped by hearing aids or have very poor clarity. If you rely heavily on lip reading and would want to do something for your hearing loss, a cochlear implant may be right for you. Visit us at PA Center for Hearing and Balance to know more about cochlear implants. 


A cochlear implant is a life-changing device, providing the ability to fully engage with the natural world. The cochlear implant bypasses damaged portions of the ear and stimulates auditory nerves directly. This stimulation may not produce sounds in an understandable way at first, but over time, it helps train your brain to process sound again. 

When a cochlear implant is activated, it stimulates nerves in the auditory nerve and sends a signal to the brain. There are various approaches to programming an implant for those who can’t hear or have some hearing, meaning that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to using an implant. Cochlear implants work differently than normal hearing as all sounds must be translated from electrical signals into audio waves which then get sent back down through the ear canal and into the eardrum. 

Cochlear implants are used to help people with hearing loss. They may be a life-changing option for those who can’t hear well or at all, but the process of being fitted for and using one is not always easy. The sound transmitted by an implant never matches up with how it sounds in real life, and it’s hard to learn how to recognize new sounds that you might not have heard before. Still, having this technology can make some things much easier than they otherwise would be without the use of an implant, so many people are very grateful for them. 

Cochlear implants allowed many people with severe hearing loss to recognize warning signals, understand other sounds in the environment, and understand speech in person or over the telephone due their ability to pick up high-frequency tones which most hearing aids cannot do.

There are a few ways to communicate with someone who is deaf. The most common way of communicating with them would be sign language, but there’s also an implant called the cochlear implant that can help them hear again. As of December 2012, as many as 324,200 people have received this type of implant worldwide and in America alone 58,000 adults and 38,000 children have had one implanted. 

The use of cochlear implants is quite common for young children who are deaf or severely hard-of-hearing due to their ability to provide speech and language skills during the optimal age window of development; not only do these implants allow those without hearing abilities the opportunity to communicate, but they also stimulate brain growth which aids in early comprehension of spoken language. 

Studies have shown that adults who lose hearing later in life can benefit from cochlear implants. They learn to associate the signals picked up by a cochlear implant with sounds they remember, including speech, without necessarily needing any visual cues such as those provided by  sign language or lipreading.

Your ability to hear can impact your job, relationships with friends and family, and more. That’s why it’s important to consider receiving a cochlear implant before you’ve lost all hearing in one ear (which may be difficult or impossible). A surgical procedure will be necessary followed by significant therapy that could take months or years. Some people have difficulty adapting to this device; however, there are many benefits such as improved speech recognition and communication skills. The decision should involve discussions with medical specialists and cost considerations which can be expensive depending on the situation. 

Surgical implantations have a high success rate with minimal risk factors, just like any other type of surgery. However, there are some things to watch out for such as learning how to interpret the sounds made by implants after they are inserted. Speech-language pathologists and audiologists can play an important role in this process.

Though cochlear implants can help some individuals hear, scientists are still trying to find ways it can do so better and more effectively. This would give patients higher quality sound without having much sacrifice in other ranges that may not be working at full capacity due to hearing loss.

Some people with hearing loss in one ear have a cochlear implant partially inserted in the other. This is to allow them to still hear sound with their normal ear while also enjoying electrical hearing with the implanted device. For those who already have severely diminished hearing, this technique won’t work; they need a fully-implanted device in order for it to be as effective as possible. 


The real ear measurement is painless and done before you know it. Think of REM as going to a professional to have an easy procedure done – getting your haircut, going to the dentist- not scary at all.


Hear Better. Live Better.