Cochlear Implant: Things you need to know

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Cochlear Implant

Cochlea or the inner ear is very essential in human’s hearing process. If the cochlea isn’t functioning well, the auditory nerve is not stimulated and it will be impossible for the sound to reach the brain. This is what is known as sensorineural hearing loss.

What is Cochlear implant?

Cochlear implant is a small snail-shaped medical device that can help provide a sense of hearing for those who have severe hearing loss.

By totally bypassing the harmed piece of the cochlea, the cochlear implant utilizes its very own electrical signs to stimulate the auditory nerve, enabling the individual wearing it to hear.

Cochlear implants have internal and external devices.

The external device picks up the sound and pass it through the ear canal, eardrum and middle ear. The internal device receives the sound and connects it to an electrode array that is implanted into the inner ear.

Who Cochlear implant is for?

Cochlear implants are only for people with severe hearing loss in both ears.

The sound that reaches the person’s ear when using cochlear implant is different from normal hearing. Through regular improvements, the sound will eventually sound natural.

What are the parts of Cochlear implant?
This implant is a marvel if we really are to take a closer look at how it was put up together.

  • Microphone or the external part that picks up the sound
  • Speech processor that selects and arranges the sounds that are picked up by the microphone
  • The stimulator that receives signals from the speech processor and convert them into electric impulse
  • An electrode array that collects the impulses from the stimulator and sends them to different parts of the auditory nerve
What are the benefits of having a cochlear implant?

Just imagine losing your hearing and you are offered a chance to get it back. This can absolutely turn one’s life the other way around, from hearing nothing to hearing something.

1. Keeps you engaged

If you are suffering from severe hearing loss, this implant will be very beneficial. According to a study, people with cochlear implant achieved an average of 80% sentence comprehension. This means you can understand a conversation without the use of visual representation or lip reading.

2. Keeps you safe

Inability to hear the sounds around you can put you in danger, especially when it’s the warning sounds you are missing. Cochlear implant will help you hear sounds again, including the warning sounds, sirens and people calling you out from a possible danger.

3. Keeps you entertained

While life can certainly be enjoyed without the things the modern era brought us, it helps us entertain ourselves if we are able to hear from things like television, sound systems, gadgets, etc.

4. Keeps you connected

You may have an understanding family around you, but it is just such a disconnect when your hearing impairment keeps you unplugged. Well, that will no longer be the case when you have this hearing solution in your ear.

What is the process of getting a Cochlear implant?

1. Undergo testing
The first thing to do is to know whether you are fit to get an implant by undergoing audiological and psychological testing, medical examination and image studies. This you can achieve by setting an appointment at a cochlear implantation centre near you. You may also need to undergo some counseling for you to fully understand the process, benefits and everything you have to know about cochlear implant.

2. Surgery

Once you are done with the necessary tests and examinations, you will now go through the surgery phase. In this stage, the internal part of the implant system is inserted under the skin behind the ear. Electrode array is also carefully inserted through an opening to the Cochlea. You will not be able to hear for the meantime as the surgical site should be healed first before the external device is put in place.

3. Fitting of the external device

After six weeks from the surgery, you will go back to the implantation center to have the external device, the sound processor, placed in its spot. The audiologist will activate the cochlear implant and begin the process of mapping the processor to fit your physiology.

4. Testing

After the internal and external devices are placed in their rightful spots, there will be more fine-tuning and adjustments to be done which may include going for a speech therapy and attending all further sound processor fitting.

The results may vary from person to person. Age can be a factor that affects the outcome of cochlear implantation.

For kids, it is better to have them implanted this device at a young age. For adults, the best results are associated with a shorter period of profound hearing loss prior to cochlear implantation.

Know whether cochlear implant is appropriate for your case. Get a consultation with Listening Lab today!

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