I have a cochlear implant on my right ear and soon I’ll have another one on my left ear. I’m going fully bionic.
No, cochlear implants are not the same as hearing aids.
A hearing aid only amplifies sounds and is usually effective for people with mild-to moderate hearing loss. Someone who uses hearing aids still has functional hair cells which are important in stimulating the auditory nerve and thus, are crucial in hearing. A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted device which converts sounds into electrical signals that are sent to the brain via the auditory nerve. It doesn’t amplify sounds like an hearing aid. Instead, it replaces all the hair cells in a person’s ear via electrodes. A cochlear implant may be used when a person has a severe or profound hearing loss caused by damage to the hair cells in the cochlea.
The video below describes how a cochlear implant works: