Help Me Hear Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit public charity. Our tax ID# is 33-1167811.
Learn more about cochlear implants and see why Help Me Hear is dedicated to helping deaf children hear.
"Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another's pain, life is not in vain."
Hearing aids can make a difference in the lives of children with mild to moderate hearing impairments, but they provide little to no help to those children with severe to profound hearing impairments. Enter the cochlear implant.
A hearing aid simply amplifies sounds to make them louder in hopes that the damaged ear will then be able to recognize them. A cochlear implant bypasses certain damaged parts of the ear and then uses electric signals to directly stimulate the auditory nerve, which communicates the signals to the brain for interpretation.
A cochlear implant consists of an external portion that sits behind the ear and an internal portion that is placed under the child’s skin. The external portion catches sound with a microphone, processes the sounds it receives, and then converts them into electric impulses. The electric impulses are then sent to a single short electrode in the internal portion that transmits the signal to the auditory nerve. Hearing is not restored to “normal”, however, the implantee is given a chance to hear sounds.
With the ability to hear and understand sounds related to speech, a child once deaf or severely hard of hearing may begin to build the foundations of oral communication.