Electric Cochlear Implants: Functions And Benefits

Electric cochlear implants are looking to be the hearing device of the future. While the device was shunned in the early stages of development due to its need for surgery, it is now using new techniques and technology to make its imprint on the hearing health industry. Even though it is beginning to experience a greater level of success, many people are still unaware of the great benefits that are offered by the electric cochlear implant and how it functions. Here we will examine the overall benefits and functionality of this hearing device.

What Makes An Electric Cochlear Implant

There are five essential parts to every cochlear implant device. There are the microphone, the transmitter, and the speech processor on the outside of the human body. These devices have the first interactions with sound before turning them over to those which are implanted within the human body. These devices are the receiver and the electrode bundle. All of these parts have to work together in order to create the effective sound upon which the person using the device relies.

So How Do They Work?

These hearing devices have a very simplistic form of functioning when looked at from the outside. For example, the first step of the hearing process is sound being taken in by the microphone from the environment. After the sound is brought in, it needs to be transformed into other forms like magnetic waves. This occurs in the speech processing unit which makes the sound into very specific forms of wavelengths based upon the incoming frequencies. From this point, the sound is shipped off to the transmitter device. Using a special transmission device that is mounted on the outside of the skin, the transmitter sends the sound waves into the human body to the receiver, which is implanted through surgery. After this, the sounds go to the electrode bundle, taken there using a small pathway created during surgery. The electrode bundle is attached directly to an auditory nerve near the ear and by the face, which uses electricity upon these nerves to make the brain think that it is hearing sounds, the same ones that were originally picked up by the microphone.

Results

The overall result of this electrical cochlear implant is that the person using it has a sensation that is similar to sound as though it passed through the human ear. The benefit of this is that it did not need to pass through the human ear in order to function, meaning that damaged internal organs in the ear can be bypassed in people who have terrible damage or deformity of their ears. These devices have let thousands of people who had no hope before hear their family and friends talking to them. With the technology surrounding this device quickly evolving, more people are opting for this surgery to aid their hearing health.