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A cochlear implant is very different from a hearing aid. Hearing aids amplify sound. Cochlear implants compensate for damaged or non-working parts of the inner ear.
When hearing is functioning normally, complicated parts of the inner ear convert sound waves in the air into electrical impulses.
These impulses are then sent to the brain, where a hearing person recognizes them as sound. A cochlear implant works in a similar manner. It electronically finds useful sounds and then sends them to the brain.
Hearing through an implant may sound different from normal hearing, but it allows many people to communicate fully with oral communication in person and over the phone.
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