Cochlear implants -- electronic devices that bypass the damaged or nonworking parts of the inner ear -- can be used to help improve hearing for those who have profound hearing loss, the Mayo Clinic states.

 

While cochlear implants are useful, they are usually only used in patients with severe hearing loss. According to the Mayo Clinic, good candidates for the implants typically have difficulty understanding speech even with the help of a hearing aid.

 

Along with the cochlear implants, the Mayo Clinic says patients also undergo communication training to help you learn what signals from the implant relate to what sounds. The hospital this process can take a long time, ranging from months to years.