The sound of your parents voice, hearing your favorite song playing on the radio, even knowing the sound of your own voice, these are just a few sounds that sadly many of us take for granted, and unfortunately many will never get to experience. Hearing loss affects about 10% of the Global population, with 124.2 million people affected from a moderate level to a severe disability. (WHO 2008)
Deafness can be the result of many different causes such as otitis media (middle ear infections), hereditary disorders, genetic mutations at birth, prenatal exposure to certain diseases such as meningitis, and trauma to the eardrum or auditory nerves. (Better Health Channel, 2013)
While not a cure to deafness, the invention of cochlear implants (CIs) now allows people who are severely hard of hearing or profoundly deaf to experience sound in a completely new way. This surgically implanted electronic device can provide a prosthetic substitute for hearing in deaf individuals. While everyone can agree this device has changed the way the world views deafness, opinions differ on whether this change is for the better or for the worse. The argument over cochlear implants raises the question should deafness be considered a fixable defect or
embraced as part of the deaf community? To some it would seem that cochlear implants are a threat to the deaf community by taking away their culture, however,
many others, including myself, see cochlear implants as a medical advancement that can benefit many deaf individuals by giving them opportunities that may not have elsewise.
How Cochlear Implants Work
To understand the controversy on cochlear implants, you must first understand how the hearing process works. The ear consists of three parts: the...
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Photo credit: "KidsHealth." Cochlear Implants. Nemours, n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2013.
Henshaw, Ashley. "The Pros And Cons Of Cochlear Implants." Symptomfind.com. Symptomfind, 12 June 2012. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.
"Meet Ricky." Raising Deaf Kids. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
“Cochlear Implant Controversy." Cochlear Implant Controversy. Deaf Website, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.
Coleman, Rachel. "Rachel Coleman." Rachel Coleman RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
Taormina-Weiss, Wendy. ”Cochlear Implants – Facts, Benefits, and Risks” http://www.disabledworld.com/disability/types/hearing/communication/cochlear.php
28 March.2012. Web. 5 Dec 2013
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