A cochlear implant is a device that bypasses damaged hair cells in the inner ear to stimulate the auditory nerve. This allows a Deaf person to perceive sound. It is not a cure for hearing loss. While a person can receive a cochlear implant at any age, experts have long agreed that if a parent decides to have a child undergo the surgery, the sooner the better. Researchers from the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) have also found that children who undergo the surgery sooner rather than later demonstrate the most positive benefits.