Cochlear Implants Essay

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Technology nowadays is getting more and more dangerous, especially to our ears. Every day we are subjected to videos, text sounds, alert sounds, alarms, and anything else that may be of use in life. These sounds seem to be happening more often which is damaging our ears. There is a solution to this damage though, and that is cochlear implants. These implants will bypass the damaged part of your ear to give you a sense of sound that can be made very useful to the patient. This paper will look into how the ear works, how hearing loss happens, why these cochlear implants are a good solution, how these implants work, cost and ethics related to these implants, and what the future holds for them. Hearing allows us to take in noises from the surrounding environment and gives us a sense of where things are in relation to us. All those little folds on the outside of the ear, called the tonotopic organization, make it so sound waves in the air are directed to the ear canal, where they can be further processed. Once in the ear, the sound waves vibrate the ear drum, which tell the ear exactly what frequency it is sensing. The vibration of the ear drum is not quite enough to send a signal to the brain, so it needs to be amplified, which is where the three tiny bones in the ear come into play. The malleus or hammer, incus or anvil, and stapes or stirrup amplify this sound and send it to the cochlea. The cochlea conducts the sound signal through a fluid with a higher inertia than air, so this is why the signal from the ear drum needs to be amplified. It is much harder to move the fluid than it is to move the air. The cochlea basically takes these physical vibrations and turns them into electrical impulses that can be sent to the brain. This is... ... middle of paper ... ...r as well as better electrode placement. Any type of functionality improvement will help, and that is what is being looked into. Cochlear implants are amazing feats of biomedical engineering, and have helped many people regain the ability to hear. While there are some ethical dilemmas that go along with them, there is no denying just how amazing these implants really are. By understanding how the ear works, what causes it to stop working, and using science and engineering to fix that problem, there is now a way to give someone a sense they might have never been able to experience. It can be costly, but it could drastically change someone’s life. Some people may say for worse, but there will always be someone else to say it was for better. Overall, cochlear implants are an incredible invention and will continue to grow and only get better with technology.

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