This is in continuation with my blog Importantance of hearing screening for newborns. As I have already introduce Cochlear implants to you, let me share some more details for Cochlear implants.
Before we start this in detail we need to understand
Our Ears have three sections
- Outer Ear that catches sound waves and send to middler ear.
- Middle Ear transfers the sound waves in the air to mechanical pressure waves that are transfer to fluid in the inner ear.
- Inner ear ( Cochlea ) then converts the pressure waves into sound signals that our brain understands.
So basically what happens is
- Sound waves enters the ear canal and strikes the eardrum.
- With effects of these sound waves the ear drum and the three bones know as ossicles with the middle ear vibrate.
- With the effect of vibration moving in the inner ear fluid, the tiny hait cells present in the cochlea detects the movement and change them into chemical signal that can be taken by hearing nerve.
- Then these hearing nerves transfer the signals to brain with electrical impulses and their these signals are interpreted as sounds.
- Sharing a quick video of this for better understanding.
Now the question is what is Cochlear Implant?
Cochlear implant is an electronical medical device that replace the function of damaged iner ear cochlea and send sound signals to the brain.
Their is two parts of Cochlear Implant.
- Sound processor worn outside the ear and it contains microphone, batteries and this can be attached with cloths for small babies.
- Implant this is actual implant and is placed inside ear through small surgery.
Coming to how implant works..
- Sound processor that is worn behind ear captures sound and turns it into digital codes.
- Then the sound processor transfer the digital codes to the coil on the outside of the head to the implant.
- Then the cochlear implant converts the digitally coded sounds into electrical impulses and send them along the electrode erray placed in the inner ear.
- Here the implant electrodes stimulate the Cochlea hearing nerve, which send the impulses to the brain and then they are interpreted as sounds.
- Here is a small video for easy understanding.
What age a child can get a Cochlear Implant?
How early you get to know about the baby hear loss ,you can cinscon your doctor and with proper test and cinfconfirmat of level of hearing loss, Cochlear implants can be done with 12 months of age.
How long is the Cochlear Implant surgery?
Surgery takes three to four hours. During the operation a small incision is made behind the ear and internal device know as receiver stimulator is places under the skin and is secured to the child’s skull.
Why one should have Cochlear Implant?
- It is better then a normal hearing aid- Hearing aid amplify sounds and cochlear implant channel sound to bypass the damaged part of the cochlea and directly stimulate the auditory nerves. The implant generates signals and send to auditory nerve and then it is send to brain, where they are recognized as sounds .
- Understanding of full sentences is better with cochlear implants the hearing aids.
- They can hear better in table meetings, crowded places and restaurants.
- Talk and hear on phones and can enjoy music.
- They feel more safe with cochlear implants as now they can hear alarms, approaching vehicles and traffic.
- Newborns start normal development and start connecting with their family members and other people as now they can hear them and respond back.
Points to take care
- Cost- yes this is really important point as these implants are bit costly so one can choose from the different model and contact them for better price.
- Taking care the device should not get hit by any hard object.
- Protection from water- but now they are coming up with new device which can be worn for swimming too.
- Maintenance – changing batteries and wires.
- Takes times and proper training to get used to with sound through device, as sounds are translated through device first and may sound unnatural, but for newborns its good as they start hearing through this and learn this way.
Cochlear has come up with new Nucleus 7 which can be connected and control directly from your smartphones.
How Nucleus 7 is helpful for parents?
- With new smart phone app now parents are able to monitor important aspects of child’s sound processor usage.
- Parents can monitor the battery life of sound processor and current status of device,feeling confident about functioning of device.
- Parents can now track the time in speech and coils off with the hearing tracker.
- They can locate the missing processor with find my processor feature in app.
- They can minimize any time child spend without sounds.
I feel cochlear implant is such a nice way to bring your baby back to her normal development as without sound they are not able to connect with surroundings. Yes main concern is for surgery and costing as getting this implant is costlier and not everyone can afford. Hoping government comes up with better easy schemes that anyone can afford getting this implant. Do share your views on this.
Here are some words from happy family of Cochlear implants.
I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter