Cochlear implant: A device that is surgically placed (implanted) within the inner ear to help a person with a certain form of deafness to hear. Cochlear implants rarely cure severe or profound deafness, but they can help some hearing-impaired people to distinguish the sounds of language clearly enough to participate in a verbal environment. For children who are congenitally deaf (born deaf), a cochlear implant can markedly increase a preschool child's chances of being able to function effectively in mainstream school classes.
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