Electric cochlear implants are quickly becoming one of the most famous and noteworthy hearing devices on the modern market. While they had been shunned for their necessity of surgery, the recent uptick in success and technology integration has made these devices more popular than ever. Yet, some people still do not know about all of the wonderful benefits and functions that are attached to this device. That is why we are going to take a quick look at the pieces that make up an electrical cochlear implant, how it functions, and why it is seen as so beneficial.
Picking The Pieces
There are five different parts that go into making every single electric cochlear implant. They are the microphone, the speech processor, the transmitter, the receiver, and the electrode bundle. While these five pieces may seem like they are rather simple, the fact of the matter is that they require surgery and precise functionality in order to produce the correct hearing outcomes. There are pieces that are placed within and outside of the human body, each with a very particular role to play in creating a hearing sensation.
How It Works
The first thing that needs to happen in order for the electric cochlear implant to work is the microphone must pick up some sound from the environment. Once this happens, the sound is transferred through the device and into the speech processing unit. The speech processor transforms the sound into a workable, magnetic form of sound waves which are passed through the loop and to the transmission piece that is mounted on the outside of the skin. Once in this part of the device, the sound is transferred through the skin and into the receiver portion of the hearing device.
Now that it is inside of the body, it only has one final stop to make. The magnetic sound signals are sent to the electrode bundle that is situated near a major nerve cluster. The electrical impulses are read by the electrode cluster, which then works to create electrical stimulation of the major auditory nerve. This gives the brain the impression that it is hearing sound, and the individual is able to make sense of this synthetic sound like they would if they had heard it.
While the sound quality may seem a little electronic or metallic to the user, the fact of the matter is that technology has now gotten to the point in the electric cochlear implant that the individual using it can hear once again. This is incredible considering that it does not require any hearing organs to actually function aside from the brain. For people who have suffered severe losses in the hearing or have damaged inner ears, this device will allow them to speak with their friends and family, and generally communicate more effectively than ever before.