News tagged with cochlear implants

Related topics: hearing loss

Hearing through sight

Cochlear implants allow adults who have become profoundly deaf to recover the ability to understand speech. However, recovery differs between individuals. Activating the visual regions of the brain has proved ...

Nov 08, 2013
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Helping to restore balance after inner ear disorder

Many disorders of the inner hear which affect both hearing and balance can be hugely debilitating and are currently largely incurable. Cochlear implants have been used for many years to replace lost hearing resulting from ...

Jun 13, 2013
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Putting HiFi into cochlear implants

Imagine suddenly being able to hear the words and tone of the person across the table from you in a crowded restaurant when once you only heard overwhelming noise. Or speaking on the telephone with confidence because what ...

Mar 06, 2013
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Tackling hearing loss

Some 16 per cent of European adults suffer from hearing loss that is severe enough to adversely affect their daily life. Hearing loss impacts on one's ability to communicate - to hear, process sound, and ...

Feb 27, 2013
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Cochlear implant

A cochlear implant (CI) is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. The cochlear implant is often referred to as a bionic ear. Unlike hearing aids, the cochlear implant does not amplify sound, but works by directly stimulating any functioning auditory nerves inside the cochlea with an electric field. External components of the cochlear implant include a microphone, speech processor and an RF transducer or primary headpiece coil. A secondary coil is implanted beneath the skull's skin and inductively coupled to the primary headpiece coil. The headpiece coil has a magnet by which it attaches to another magnet placed on the secondary coil often beside the cochlear implant. The implant relays the incoming signal to the implanted electrodes in the cochlea. The speech processor allows an individual to adjust the sensitivity of the device. The implant gives recipients additional auditory information, which may include sound discrimination fine enough to understand speech in quiet environments. Post-implantation rehabilitative therapy is often critical to ensuring successful outcomes.

As of 2006, approximately 100,000 people worldwide had received cochlear implants, with recipients split almost evenly between children and adults. The vast majority are in developed countries due to the high cost of the device, surgery and post-implantation therapy. A small but growing segment of recipients have bilateral implants (one implant in each cochlea).

There is disagreement whether providing cochlear implants to children is ethically justifiable, renewing a century-old debate about models of deafness that often pits hearing parents of deaf children against the Deaf community.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA