Durban Cochlear Implant Program

Cochlear Implants

In order to understand how a cochlear implant works, it is important to understand how we hear. The outer ear collects sound waves and sends them to the middle ear. The sound waves bounce off your eardrum and are made louder by three tiny bones: the hammer, anvil, and stirrup. The sound waves travel into the fluid filled inner ear. The waves go through the cochlea (the organ of hearing). Microscopic hair cells in the cochlea turn the vibrations into electrical impulses. Then your brain receives and interprets this energy as a sound or speech.Cochlear implants take advantage of the things an ear can still do after hair cells have been damaged or destroyed. It also takes advantage of how smart and flexible the human brain can be. The cochlear implant creates a new way of hearing. A cochlear implant consists of five basic parts; these are a microphone, a speech processor, a transmitter, a receiver/stimulator, and an electrode array.

Here's how the basic parts of a cochlear implant work:

  • Sound is captured by the microphone on the processor
  • The sound processor converts sound into detailed digital information
  • The magnetic headpiece sends the digital signals to the cochlear implant
  • The cochlear implant sends electrical signals to the hearing nerve
  • The hearing nerve sends impulses to the brain, where they are interpreted as sound

Middle Ear Implants

A middle ear implant stimulates the tiny bones in the middle ear - allowing those with conductive hearing loss to hear without conventional hearing aids.


Bonebridge Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA) Vibrant Soundbridge

The BONEBRIDGE, the world's first active bone conduction implant system, can be an effective solution for individuals with lasting hearing loss following a middle ear operation, malformations, or generally for conductive hearing loss and mixed hearing loss. It is also an option for individuals with single-sided deafness. While a hearing aid tries to push sound through the damaged area, a BAHA System uses the beauty of bone conduction to send clear, crisp sound directly to your inner ear. The SOUNDBRIDGE, a unique middle ear implant system, has opened a world of new hearing possibilities for individuals who have not experienced an improvement with conventional hearing aids or cannot use them for medical reasons .

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