Cochlear Implants

Potomac River

Dr. Gina Diaz leads the Cochlear Implant Program and is an expert in this field. She is credentialed in providing these solutions with the use of Cochlear Americas products.

Freedom Hearing Center has a proud partnership with the Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC). This collaboration has been established so that our patients have access to a highly skilled surgeon who specializes in cochlear implantation.

Freedom Hearing Center offers services for the cochlear implant program at our Solomons location. Services include pre-implantation candidacy audiologic testing, device counseling and selection, initial activation after surgery, and mapping sessions for adults. Although we work directly with the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, we also provide testing and mapping services for patients implanted at another facility.

What is a cochlear implant?

1. Hearing aid(s) help those who have mild to severe hearing loss and have some remaining healthy sensory hair cells in the inner ear that can transmit sound to the brain using amplification. Cochlear implants help those with moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears who are not receiving enough benefit when using appropriately fit hearing aids. They are designed to help you hear the sounds you've been missing by giving you the clarity you need to understand speech, even in noisy environments.

2. How do you know when your hearing aid(s) are not enough? While wearing your hearing aid(s) do you:

  • Have difficulty hearing conversations in noisy situations?
  • Frequently ask people to repeat themselves?
  • Often misunderstand what people say?
  • Feel people often mumble when they talk?
  • Find yourself agreeing, smiling or nodding during conversations when you are not sure what has been said?
  • Regularly withdraw from conversations because it is too difficult to hear?
  • Depend on loved ones or read lips to understand what people are saying?

*If you answered “yes” to any of these questions and have been unsuccessful with all other amplification options, it is time to schedule an appointment with our Hearing Implant Specialist and experience the joy of hearing again!


How does a cochlear implant work?

A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted medical device that is designed to electronically improve hearing. While a hearing aid amplifies decreased hearing in an acoustic way, the cochlear implant electrically stimulates the hearing nerve and bypasses the damaged hair cells used for hearing in the inner ear.

There are two separate parts of a cochlear implant.

1. The external, or outside component:
The outside portion is called a sound processor. It has one or more microphones that detect sound around you. The processor, which is worn on your head, then takes that sound and sends the information to the internal portion in your head.

2. The internal, or inside component:
The internal portion is the actual implant. It is placed under the skin near the ear. It receives information from the external sound processor and sends the information to an electrode array. The electrode array is placed into your inner ear and stimulates the hearing nerve sending sound information to the brain.

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