Cochlear Implants for Better Hearing
Windowofworld.com – Hearing impaired or even completely lost can make a person difficult to communicate. To improve hearing problems with problems, the installation of cochlear implants can be one solution.
Cochlear implant is a medical procedure in the form of a special electronic device to help people with severe hearing loss or deafness to hear.
The type of deaf that can be helped with this tool is sensorineural deafness, which is deafness that occurs due to interference with cells in the inner ear or nerve tissue that play a role in the hearing process.
How do cochlear implants work?
The cochlear implant works by capturing sound and processing it into electrical stimuli so that it can be delivered to the auditory nerve in the ear to the brain. With cochlear implant placement, hearing function in people who have difficulty hearing or who are deaf can be helped.
The cochlear implant consists of several components that work together to support the hearing process. These components are divided into two parts, namely the outside which is positioned behind the ear and the inside which is implanted in the auditory nerve behind the eardrum.
The following are the components contained in cochlear implants and their functions:
This tool serves to capture sound from the surrounding environment.
2. Sound processor
This part of the cochlear implant functions to regulate and convert the captured sound waves into digital signals.
3. Sound stimulator stimulator
After the sound is converted into a digital signal, the signal will be converted by stimulators into electrical stimuli to be transmitted to the auditory nerve and processed in the brain.
This section serves to receive electrical stimulation from the stimulator to deliver it to the auditory nerve.
Cochlear implant implantation is done through surgery. One month after the cochlear implant is inserted, the doctor will usually only install a microphone and sound processor on the implant so that hearing can begin to function.
Users of cochlear implants may hear a sound after a certain amount of equipment has been installed and activated. It’s just that some implant users may feel that the sound heard with a cochlear implant initially resembles a ‘beep’ or unclear sound.
Therefore, patients undergoing cochlear implant installation need to be patient and continue to follow the advice and exercise program recommended by the doctor so that their hearing ability can return to function.
Who Can Use Cochlear Implants?
Cochlear implant implantation procedures can be performed on people with severe or total hearing loss, ranging from 1 year olds to adults.
Cochlear implant placement is usually done on adults who meet the following requirements:
- Suffer from severe deafness or total deafness in both ears which interferes with speech
- Suffers from severe deafness that is not helped by hearing aids
- Having a good health condition or not suffering from other health problems that can increase the risk of surgical complications
- Have a good motivation to be able to hear and understand the limitations and risks of cochlear implant installation
While in children, the installation of cochlear implants is better done when the age is still under 5 years and without the presence of certain conditions that can increase the risk of complications due to surgery.
To develop their communication and learning skills, children who undergo cochlear implant surgery need support from those around them, especially parents, teachers, and speech therapists.
The younger the total age of deaf sufferers using cochlear implants, the greater the effectiveness of this tool in improving hearing function and communication skills of sufferers.
One study even found that cochlear implant placement in children before the age of 18 months can provide significant improvements in the ability to hear, speak, learn, and grow and develop children.
What are the Benefits and Risks of Using a Cochlear Implant?
After undergoing cochlear implant placement, people who have severe hearing loss or severe deafness can get the following benefits:
- Can almost hear the sound normally
- Can understand speech without reading lips
- It’s easier to talk on the phone and enjoy TV shows
- Can hear music and enjoy shows on TV better
- Able to hear sounds with different frequencies and volumes
- Can set their own voice when talking so they can communicate better
In general, cochlear implants are a safe procedure to do. Nevertheless, the cochlear implant surgery procedure also has several risks, including:
- Infections, such as infections in surgical wounds or meningitis
- Side effects of the anesthetic during surgery and afterwards
- Nerve injuries that interfere with the sense of taste or facial muscles
- Dizziness or balance disorder
- Sedentary deafness that is not helped by the installation of cochlear implants
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
Cochlear implants can indeed be one way to help deaf or severe deaf patients to hear better.
However, it should be remembered that the success of cochlear implants in restoring hearing function can vary from patient to patient. This tool also can not restore the ability to hear completely normal.
Therefore, the consideration for inserting a cochlear implant must be preceded by a medical examination and hearing test by an ENT specialist. After the examination is performed, the doctor will determine whether the patient is the right candidate for cochlear implant surgery.