One in every 1,000 US children is born deaf or with a hearing impairment. Some of these children go on to receive and utilize cochlear implants while others learn to lip read, use adaptive technology and hearing aids, and communicate with American Sign Language. The treatment and results are specific to the type and severity of the hearing impairment.
People who are severely hard-of-hearing or are profoundly deaf can sometimes benefit from an electronic device called a cochlear implant. These devices are surgically implanted in the recipient with one portion underneath the skin and one behind the ear itself. Although cochlear implants do not enable people to hear “normally,” they provide useful auditory feedback that, with extensive therapy, people can learn to interpret as speech. These devices are significantly different from traditional hearing aids, which simply amplify sound.