Cochlear implants are surgically implanted devices that replace the function of the inner ear, or cochlea, for people with severe to profound hearing loss. Cochlear implants do not restore normal hearing but they do give people more awareness of sounds. Unlike hearing aids, which amplify sounds, a cochlear implant bypasses damaged portions of the inner ear to deliver sound signals electronically to the hearing (auditory) nerve. These signals stimulate the auditory nerve, which then directs the signal to the brain. The brain interprets those signals as sounds, although these sounds aren’t like normal hearing because they are electrical stimulation. It takes practice and persistence to learn to interpret the signals received from a cochlear implant. Within six months to a year of use, most people with cochlear implants have made good progress in understanding speech and are following conversation better than with their hearing aids.