Electric Cochlear Implants: Functions And Benefits

Cochlear implants are one of the most significant forms of hearing help that have been developed over the last ten years. These devices have not gotten as much attention as the digital hearing aids that most people are seen wearing. However, that does not make the incredible technology any less significant to the people who are beginning to see how beneficial this technology can be to people around the world. That is why we are going to take a look at the benefits of electric cochlear implants to see how they work and why they have incredible staying power.

Cochlear Implant Parts

There are many different parts that make up an electric cochlear implant. In order to conceptualize these devices successfully, it is best to look at the parts of the device that are on the inside and the outside of the body. The bio-mechanical parts that are actually implanted within the human body are the electrode bundle as well as the receiver device. Outside of the head are the microphone, transmitter, and the speech processor unit. Together, these pieces make the electric cochlear implant possible.

The Incredible Functions

The electric cochlear implant has a very specific order of operations that must occur for the sound to become an effective signal within the brain. First, the sounds must be picked up by a microphone on the outside of the device. This transfers the sound over to the speech processing unit, located either next to the ear or worn elsewhere on the body. From there, the newly-digitized sound is sent through the device and over to the transmitter where it can be sent within the body to the waiting receiver unit. The receiver unit is implanted within the skin and is linked to the final piece of the device, the electrode bundle. These electrodes interpret the sound and then stimulate the auditory nerves throughout the ear so that the sound can be “heard” in a synthetic mode. While the sound is not the highest quality for everyone, it still offers incredible levels of benefits for people who suffer from severe impairment.

The Benefits Of Electric Cochlear Implants

Electric cochlear implants come with many different benefits that are not typically experienced through hearing aid devices. For example, hearing aids work with the existing hearing structures to elicit hearing. However, people who have severely damaged ears cannot hear sound through typical means, which is where the cochlear implant can help. It does not use the eardrum to produce sound, rather, it directly stimulates the nerves responsible for sound. The end result is that the entire ear is bypassed by the new process, letting the most disadvantaged listeners able to hear in a new fashion. This is the greatest benefit of electric cochlear implants and why they have been such a welcome device.

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