Though cochlear implants were developed in the 1960’s they only started to gain much of their popularity over the past decade. With growing popularity came fears that these implants would have a negative impact on the deaf community. However, over time these fears subsided and today cochlear implants are widely accepted in the deaf community as a great option for the hearing impaired (especially children).
What Is A Cochlear Implant?
Though cochlear implants are commonly thought of as internal hearing aids, they are not actually classified as hearing aids. Rather, the FDA classifies these implants as medical devices. Unlike hearing aids, cochlear implants work with speech processors that allow electric signals to be created. Once these signals are created they are sent to the magnet implanted under your scalp, which then sends these signals to cochlea. These electrical signals help better activate the auditory nerve and work to have noise stay away from damaged cells. This allows the noise to efficiently travel to the brain and once reaching the brain allows it to be easily interpreted into crisp, clear sound.
It’s important to note that even once the implant is installed the individual is still considered deaf and that when the implant is not being utilized the individual will not be able to hear. It’s also imperative with these implants that the individual understands superior auditory skills are a must. These skills are what allow the implant to work most efficiently.
How Do You Know If A Cochlear Implant Is Right For You?
Though cochlear implants may be a great option for many deaf individuals, they are not the perfect solution for all. Many individuals can be rejected from receiving an implant because they do not actually have enough hearing loss. These devices once implanted destroy any natural hearing ability one has so it is detrimental that an individual seriously considers the severity of their hearing impairment before deciding on a cochlear implant. It is also very important that when considering an implant you receive all necessary hearing examinations by your health care professional.