Electric Cochlear Implants: Functions And Benefits

There have been many changes to the way that people are able to get hearing help if they suffer from hearing impairment. One of the means that is beginning to gain significant traction in the medical community as well as with potential patients is the electric cochlear implant. As the name suggests, this device is placed beneath the skin of the individual so that they can interact directly with the individual’s brain. Since this device is still relatively unknown to many, we will take a closer look at electric cochlear implants in terms of how they work and why they are beneficial.

The Benefits

There are many reasons why you should consider having a cochlear implant if you are suffering from severe hearing loss. Cochlear implants have the ability to bypass the hearing centers that are located in the ear so that they can directly affect the brain. This allows people who would have no other means of hearing to listen to synthetic sounds. Overall, people who suffer from hearing and severe ear trauma will be able to hear conversations and even speak on the telephone. This allows people with hearing loss to live lives that are much more comfortable and safe than they would be able otherwise, and only at the cost of a minor surgery.

The Pieces Of A Cochlear Implant

A cochlear implant is comprised of five important pieces. They can be organized based upon their location within the body. First, there are the pieces that are inside of the body. These pieces are the receiver as well as the positively crucial electrode bundle. There are also several parts that are on the outside of the body. These are the transmitter, speech processing unit, and the microphone. Together they work to bring in sound and convert it to a form that is readable by the human brain.

How The Cochlear Implant Functions

The cochlear implant has to use all of its parts in a specific order for it to function properly. The first thing that needs to take place is the sound needs to be brought into the device through the microphone. The microphone then takes the sound and shifts it to the speech processor unit. The job of this piece is to turn the sound into a magnetic form of sound that can travel throughout the entire device. After this sound is converted properly, it is sent through the device until it reaches the transmission apparatus. The transmission device is mounted on the outside of the body and then has to send all of the new sound waves into the body to be taken in by the receiver.
The receiver device takes in all of the sounds from the transmission piece and sends it along a synthetic pathway until it reaches the electrode bundle that is situated near the auditory nerve. It stimulates this bundle of nerves to make the brain believe that it is receiving sound. The result is an electronic form of sound that is “heard’ inside of the head, and allows the cochlear implant user to have a greater range of hearing functions.

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