What Are Cochlear Implants
A health article about Cochlear Implants from Ear Infection & Hearing Loss the A to Z directory of
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Not hearing anything is a thing of the past. Availability of every single type of hearing device and technology is at hand. One of the well awarded technologies is cochlear implants.
This implants change the way you look to technology for the hearing impaired. In fact it does not only change the way you look at the technology accessible, it also changes the life of the patient.
Unlike the typical hearing aids this implant allows music to be heard and enjoyed. Although it may sound a little different from the actual sound making it sound a little more mechanical, in time the brain will adapt to the different sounds presented and will soon normalize.
Cochlear implants are devices that allow sound perceptions aiding with lip reading by giving sound detection and speech recognition to the patient. It is implanted for people who do not benefit from hearing aids that are placed in the ears.
For the patients with severe hearing loss this implant may not suffice to process the sounds no matter how loud it is.
It does better than normal hearing aids since it circumvents the dead cochlea that is important in processing the sound and goes straight to the auditory nerve. Surgically these minuscule electrodes are implanted and inserted in the cochlea.
These implants will then convert the sound it receives into electrical impulses and will pass through the auditory nerve.
Anybody can benefit from these implants, young and old. It is best that the device be implanted while the patient is young but it can also be given to people with long term hearing loss. Cochlear does not cure deafness rather it helps and aids in the detection and understanding of the sounds.
These devices are meant for patients with sensor neural hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is any oddity in the ear especially the auditory nerve blocking the transport of signals to the nucleus or the main center in our sense of hearing.
Patients with total loss of auditory nerve fibers though may not be ideal candidate for implants as there is nothing to stimulate. In order to know if you are an ideal candidate go to a professional. A team of specialist will attend to you and tell you if you are a candidate.
Patients with implants have a high probability to classify and categorize pitch and loudness. It can even understand speech without having to lip read! You can even use the telephone with no problems at all and best of all you can enjoy music!
There are certain risks involved in the implantation due to the surgery involved: infection, bleeding, dizziness, or problems and potential damage to the facial nerves. Since there are more technologies being gathered and presented, risks like the one stated is less likely to occur.
These implants have two pieces: the internal and the external. The internal piece is surgically inserted in your ear. In it is a receiver plus small electrodes that is inserted in the cochlea.
The external involves a speech processor with a head piece. This piece will send an indication sign from the processor to the internal device.
These two pieces combine and work side by side in order to understand the sounds gathered. Electrodes transmitted pass through the dead parts of the cochlea then send tiny signals to the auditory nerve.
After all that traveling it will send a signal to the brain which analyzes the sound gathered by the microphone. This traveling is lighting fast there are no chances for interruption and is not noticeable for the patient’s conversation partner.
Different manufacturers make this kind of device so it is best to seek the help of a professional as to what manufacturers create the finest piece.
Music and words are important for the development of relationships with other people in our environment. Using this implant you can not only enjoy what other people have to say but learn and understand the world around you without having to rely on others.
What are Ear & hearing loss problems ?
Your ear is divided into three major components: the inner ear, the middle ear, and the outer ear. The outer ear is what is physically seen in our bodies. The ear canal is the path where the sound waves pass through.
It is also seen from the outside. The ear canal acts like a funnel catching the sound waves and lead them to the eardrum.
The middle ear is where the eardrum is located. It is actually a small space inside the ear filled with air. In the middle ear, there are three tiny bones. Collectively, they are called the ossicles.
Individually, there are the hammer, the anvil, and the stirrup. From the outer ear, sound is directed to the eardrum. Now on the eardrum, these bones move in tune with the sound that passes on the vibration toward a much smaller part of the ear, the cochlea.
The cochlea is already part of the inner ear. It has fluid in it, which, in turn, moves the hairs on the outside of the cells. Several of these hair cells create an electrical impulse that is send with the auditory nerve directly to the brain.
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