Related topics: hearing loss

New developments enabling blind people to see again

Enabling blind people to see again is the dream of many neuroscientists. We still have a long way to go to make this happen, but we have also made a lot of progress over the last twenty years, says Richard van Wezel of the ...

Basic structure of ultrasound power supply and communication

Unlike drugs, active implants such as electroceuticals act locally, have fewer side effects and function directly through electrical signals, much like the body itself. At the Medica 2016 trade fair in Düsseldorf, Fraunhofer ...

Glucose as a new energy source for pacemakers

Researchers at the Instituto Tecnológico de la Energía (Technological Institute of Energy, ITE) are developing a bio-battery that uses blood glucose to produce energy. Such a battery would cut down on the number of surgical ...

Cochlear implants—with no exterior hardware

Cochlear implants—medical devices that electrically stimulate the auditory nerve—have granted at least limited hearing to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide who otherwise would be totally deaf. Existing versions ...

Cloaking magnetic fields: The first 'antimagnet' device developed

Spanish researchers have designed what they believe to be a new type of magnetic cloak, which shields objects from external magnetic fields, while at the same time preventing any magnetic internal fields from leaking outside, ...

Project uses smartphones to improve cochlear implants (w/ Video)

(PhysOrg.com) -- Many cochlear implant users may soon be able to easily modify the settings on their hearing devices using a smartphone interface, selecting one setting for a bustling restaurant, another for a hushed library.

page 1 from 2

Cochlear implant

A cochlear implant (CI) is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. The cochlear implant is often referred to as a bionic ear. Unlike hearing aids, the cochlear implant does not amplify sound, but works by directly stimulating any functioning auditory nerves inside the cochlea with an electric field. External components of the cochlear implant include a microphone, speech processor and an RF transducer or primary headpiece coil. A secondary coil is implanted beneath the skull's skin and inductively coupled to the primary headpiece coil. The headpiece coil has a magnet by which it attaches to another magnet placed on the secondary coil often beside the cochlear implant. The implant relays the incoming signal to the implanted electrodes in the cochlea. The speech processor allows an individual to adjust the sensitivity of the device. The implant gives recipients additional auditory information, which may include sound discrimination fine enough to understand speech in quiet environments. Post-implantation rehabilitative therapy is often critical to ensuring successful outcomes.

As of 2006, approximately 100,000 people worldwide had received cochlear implants, with recipients split almost evenly between children and adults. The vast majority are in developed countries due to the high cost of the device, surgery and post-implantation therapy. A small but growing segment of recipients have bilateral implants (one implant in each cochlea).

There is disagreement whether providing cochlear implants to children is ethically justifiable, renewing a century-old debate about models of deafness that often pits hearing parents of deaf children against the Deaf community.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA