Sometimes you hear a word and wonder what it means; well if you have asked yourself - what is cochlear implant; then here is the explanation. Cochlear implant or bionic ear is basically an electronic device that is implanted into the human ear. This is done through an invasive surgery. People often go in for cochlear implants in order to stimulate the auditory nerves which in turn helps improve the hearing ability in a person who is severely hearing impaired or profoundly deaf. Unlike hearing aids which only amplify the sound that reach the ear and then direct them to the ear canal, cochlear implant uses a principle in which acoustic sounds are converted into electrical pulses. The effect of these pulses is that they stimulate the auditory nerve directly.
The candidates for cochlear implants are chosen according to the age and occurrence of hearing impairment. Cochlear implant is considered ideal for children who have not yet acquired a language or speech. If children go in for cochlear implant before their first birthday then they will be ideally benefitted, say professionals. In cases where speech has been severely damaged because of loss of hearing, then speech therapy can also be combined with this.
Many consider cochlear implant a boon while others think otherwise. A factor that makes this seem like a blessing is that using this technology life becomes much better for those who cannot hear and have to thus rely on sign language or lip reading to understand others or make themselves understood. People who opt for this surgery can hear conversations as well as learn the spoken language with ease. This certainly does make life easy and helps in social interaction as well!
A few factors that may stop people from opting for the bionic ear are facial spasms, loss of taste, partial numbness in the face, problems of tinnitus and even risks of getting vertigo or staph infection. All who opt for this transplant are advised to refrain from sports like scuba diving and football. They are even advised to avoid getting exposed to MRI.
Another reason that cochlear implant might not seem like a good idea to a few is that it might prove heavy on the pocket. Any replacement thereafter might incur heavy expenses. Comfort is also a factor which often proves disadvantageous in the case of cochlear implant. Most people who want to get this implant done are often worried that they might not like to wear the body processor all the time. And then enters a social factor which is the power of rejection as some people who belong to the deaf community believe that getting an implant done puts the deaf person into another mould and thus makes them turn away from the community to which they actually belong.
Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of cochlear implant, I am sure that the picture ahead is clear. Even after reading this talk to people who have opted for this procedure, collect first hand information and then decide if you would be comfortable wearing a bionic ear all your life. Remember everyone is different and whatever you decide or what your experience is might be totally different from what you have heard or read.