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Electric Cochlear Implants: Functions and Benefits

With several technologies available to hearing impaired people, electric cochlear implants go beyond the traditional hearing aid to offer something superior to those with profound hearing loss. It’s true that hearing aids are the most common and popular option for hearing loss, but they don’t readily address the worst of hearing problems suffered by many people. To address that need, cochlear implants are becoming even more popular in both adults and children, not just in the United States but all over the world. These devices, unlike traditional hearing aids, are actually anchored to the person’s skull to make a bypass which allows sound wave to be interpreted by the auditory nerve. However, just like hearing aids, they come with many advantageous benefits that we will check out in the following article.

What Makes A Cochlear Implant?

Most of the components of a cochlear implant are located on the outside of the ear, but some are situated under the skin and behind the ear. There are many diverse parts to a cochlear implant. The microphone, speech processor, and a transmitter comprise the external parts of the device, while the receiver and an electrode cluster comprise the parts implanted under the skin. They all work together to seamlessly sharpen sound for the wearer.

How Do Cochlear Implants Function?

The future looks bright for cochlear implants as more and more advances to the technology are emerging. The electric cochlear implant operates via the use of all four components in conjunction with one another. It has the ability to recreate sound waves to simulate hearing. The microphone on the outside of the ear detects sounds, then passes them on to the speech processor that sits near the microphone. This can also be worn elsewhere on the body. This is where the interpretation and digitization of sound occurs in order for it to be detected by the transmitter. The transmitter gives the signals to the receiver underneath the skin which sends along all of the signals to the cluster of electrodes already implanted into the cochlea. This sits behind the ear and under the skin, where electrodes activate special fibers on the auditory nerve. The wearer is then able to experience simulated sound waves.

Benefits of Cochlear Implants

Cochlear implant allow people to hear better with more clarity and consistency than ever before. Though these devices can cost a lot, the advantages they offer make electric cochlear implants one of the most integral hearing devices history has ever known. Ideal for people young and old who suffer from a high degree of hearing loss than cannot be addressed through a simple hearing aid, these devices can more clearly pick up on sounds such as speech and even differentiate crowd noise. This helps the user feel safe in his or her environment no matter what they encounter during their day.

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