Cochlear Implant: Listening with Deaf Ears

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Susan Robertson
Professor Ristow
English 151-DL 4
03/17/2013

Cochlear Implant: Listening with Deaf Ears

A cochlear implant is a prosthetic device that gives a deaf person access to sound. However, not every deaf person is eligible for the implant. There is a system of checks and balances before a person is considered to be a candidate. There is a lot of work that goes into learning how to use the device but the reward is life changing. Virginia University states, “A cochlear implant is a revolutionary device that has changed the lives of tens of thousands of patients across the globe. Originally designed to provide simple access to sound and noise, technological advances over the last 20 years have enabled cochlear implant users to enjoy a tremendous range of benefits.” Having the technology of a cochlear implant opens a multitude of opportunities for a deaf individual.

The workings of a cochlear implant are amazing. As described my Med EL, “An internal device is placed under the skin, behind the ear. An electrode array is connected to the internal device. The array is a bundle of tiny wires that have electrodes that spread out along the length of the array. The array is inserted into the auditory portion of the inner ear (cochlea). The electrodes send electrical signals from the internal device to different areas of the cochlea to represent different sound frequencies. A sound processor contains a microphone that detects the sounds in the environment. Sounds are digitized by the sound processor. Small sound processing units can be worn behind the ear, or modular options are available and can be clipped on to your child’s clothing. A magnetic headpiece sends the digital signals from the sound processor through the skin to the implanted device.” Although it sounds like a lot of equipment to deal with, it is very easy to manipulate. The implanted person is also given a remote that controls the volume. The remote also gives the user the...
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