How We Hear
How we hear...Sound waves travel through the ear canal and strike the eardrum. Sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate, sending the bones in the middle ear into motion. This motion causes the fluid inside the inner ear (cochlea) to move the hair cells. The hair cells change the movement into electric impulses, which are sent to the hearing nerve into the brain; this allows you to hear sound.
The hearing aid amplified ear...Hearing aids amplify sound from the external world that is picked up by the hearing aid microphone. hearing aid users have sound awareness, but understanding speech may still be difficult depending on the hearing loss. Hearing is especially difficult in the presence of noise. Hearing aids amplify everything equally, so if something is closer to the hearing aid user, it will be louder than something (or someone) further away.
The Cochlear Implant amplified "ear"...The sound processor picks up sound and converts the sound into a digital signal. The processor sends the digital signal to the internal implant (bypassing the eardrum and ear bones). The internal implant converts the signal to electrical energy inside the cochlea which stimulates the hearing nerve in the brain. The brain perceives the signal as sound. To listen to a scientifically created version of what cochlear implants "sound like" click here.
Hearing aids and cochlear implants do not "FIX" the hearing loss, they only increase sound awareness.