Electric Cochlear Implants: Functions and Benefits

Atlanta Hearing Associates' Blog.

You may have thought all hearing impaired people can benefit from hearing aids but this is not entirely true. In fact, some people have such a bad hearing problem that they must resort to the use of an electric cochlear implant. This is becoming even more popular for individuals with high degrees of hearing loss because they are much more involved than a hearing aid that is simply worn in the ear and can be removed. Meant for both children and adults, these devices essentially are attached surgically to the wearer’s skull, allowing for a special bypass that helps interpret sound waves by the auditory nerve. These devices are ideal over hearing aids because they address much more severe forms of hearing loss. Let’s take a look at the various benefits of a cochlear implant and why they’re so great.

How Do Cochlear Implants Function?

The microphone is located on the outside of the ear and is meant for detecting small amounts of sound. This sound then gets picked up by the speech processor that is near the microphone, which can also be worn in other places on the body. This is where the interpretation and digitization of sound occurs in order for it to be detected by the transmitter. The transmitter, which gives the signals to the receiver underneath the skin, passes all of the signals to the electrodes cluster located in the cochlea. This sits behind the ear and under the skin, where electrodes fire up fibers that comprise the auditory nerve. Cochlear implants, necessary for many people in which a hearing aid simply won’t provide the hearing help they need, allow users to hear so much more clearly.

What Makes A Cochlear Implant?

The microphone, speech processor, and a transmitter comprise the external parts of the device, while the receiver and an electrode cluster comprise the parts implanted under the skin. Most of the factors involved in a cochlear implant are located on the outside of the ear, but some are placed under the skin and behind the ear. There are many significant parts to a cochlear implant.

Benefits of Cochlear Implants

Although these devices can cost a pretty penny, they can be covered in whole or in part by insurance. They offer so many benefits, though, that this makes up for the cost many times over. As such, electric cochlear implants are at the top of the heap when it comes to the most integral hearing devices available to the hearing impaired community. Great for people kids and adults who suffer from a high degree of filter crowd noise. Another pretty big benefit is the way in which these implants make the user feel safe in his or her environment, as they can better pick up on warnings and alerts, and even communicate better in daily conversation. As a result, you are treated to more clarity and consistency.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.