A cochlear implant is a unique hearing aid and it is certainly not
for everyone. On the other hand, it is irreplaceable on several cases,
as described below.
The cochlear implant is quite a breakthrough in the hearing rehabilitation field. It was first introduced around 1978. It enables some level of hearing to patients that couldn’t communicate using hearing before. Using the implant, these patients can now understand spoken language better and communicate much more efficiently.
The cochlear implant is meant mainly for two populations:
- Babies that are born with deep hearing loss and will not be able to enjoy standard hearing aids.
- Adults deafened after having spoken language. But it is only
relevant if you have a more or less functioning hearing nerve. The
implant can help you if you have a non-functional inner ear but a
functioning hearing nerve. This can be a life changer, have a look.
- A microphone, to receive the sounds from the environment
- Speech processor, to processes the acoustic data and transform it to electric signals.
- Transmitter, to send both power and the processed signals to the inner parts inside the skull. The signal it sends are electromagnetic.
- Receiver, to get the electromagnetic signals and to stimulate the electrodes with electric signals.
- Electrodes, located inside the cochlea, sends signals to the
The procedure is a head surgery with general anesthesia. During the surgery, the internal parts are inserted. After a few weeks, and after the healing of the stitches, the outer parts are attached.
Only then begins a process that takes several months of hearing rehabilitation. During this period, you’ll have sessions with a speech pathologist to adjust the implant and to have hearing training in order to learn how to use the implant.
The three leading brands nowadays are:
- Nucleus by a company named Cochlear
- Advanced bionics