People with hearing issues often come across the term cochlear implant. Most of us don’t know about the process and how it works, and insufficient information can create many misconceptions. Cochlear implant surgery is totally safe and users state that they hear much better after undergoing it. This surgery is highly recommended for people who have severe to
Profound hearing loss and do not benefit from hearing aids.
What is a cochlear implant surgery?
It is a surgery for people who have deafness due to impairment of the inner ear. In this surgery an array of micro electrode is placed inside the cochlea.
Why is a cochlear implant needed?
The sensitive cochlea in the inner ear transforms sound waves into electrical signals, which reach the brain through the auditory nerve. Due to the absence of hair cells or any other damage, the sound waves are not converted to electrical signals. Since a weak signal or no signal reaches the brain, the person cannot hear. A cochlear implant provides the lacking signals to the brain through the auditory nerve.
How does it work?
The cochlear implant microphone picks up the speech signals to digitally process them and convert them to electrical data. The wires transfer the data to the transmitter that is attached externally to the head. The antenna inside the scalp picks up the digital data, which is converted into electrical signals by the receiver and simulator and passed on to the electrodes. The electrodes provide the signal to the auditory nerve, which transfer the speech signal to the brain.
Pros of cochlear implant
Most users have confirmed that they hear better with a cochlear implant. The benefits are:
- Cochlear implant users can hear sounds that were not possible for them with a hearing aid. The sound of a doorbell, telephone bell, footsteps etc. are clearly heard
- Users can understand speech better and there is less dependence on lip reading
- People feel relaxed as there is no stress associated with the effort to lip read and catch the missing words
- The user can easily talk on the phone
- Infants can hear and learn language naturally with the help of AVT
- It’s a blessing for children as they can hear and follow the teacher at the school
Cons of cochlear implant
The disadvantages are far less than the pros. They are:
- Though the chances are very low but it can cause infection
- A person using a Cochlear Implant cannot go back to using hearing aids
- There have been rare cases where the cochlear implant has not functioned. Additional surgery corrects this situation
Contact Hearing Plus, the best hearing aid centre in Kolkata, for more details and surgery if you consider getting a cochlear implant.