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Essay On Cochlear Implants

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Cochlear Implants and Their Effect on d/Deaf Society
Deafness is described as a partial or total inability to hear. It can be caused by many different factors like aging, exposure to noise, illness, or chemicals and physical trauma or any combination of these. A hearing test called audiometry can be used to determine the severity of the hearing impairment. There are several measures that can be taken to prevent hearing loss; however, in some cases due to disease, illness, or genetics, deafness is impossible to prevent or reverse. Based on how severe of a hearing impairment a person has depends on what kind of treatment they receive for a hearing impairment (Battey.)
When a person is “hard of hearing” and are still able to hear some noise and sounds, they are able to get hearing aids. Hearing aids amplify the incoming sound and improve hearing ability. However, hearing aids cannot restore normal hearing. On the other hand, cochlear implants are used when a person has very little ability to hear in one or both ears. A cochlear implant results in a current being sent along the auditory nerve. This produces a sensation of hearing, although it is not a restoration of hearing. It is done through the surgical implantation of a device in the mastoid bone behind the ear. Externally, a microphone picks up sound from the environment, and a speech processor filters the sound selectively for audible speech and sends it to a transmitter, from which the processed sound signals are sent to the internal deice. Internally, a receiver and stimulator converts the signal into electric impulses which are sent to an array of electrodes, and from there to the brain through the auditory nerve system (Mackay 51).
Hearing aids and cochlear implants dif...

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...ave, there are also some risks to the procedure as well. Some risks to a cochlear implant procedure are injury to the facial nerve, meningitis, cerebrospinal fluid leakage, perilymph fluid leak, infection, blood or fluid collection, attacks of dizziness or vertigo, tinnitus, taste disturbances, and numbness around the ear (U.S. Food and Drug Administration.)
Several parents and people who need cochlear implants are frightened to have the surgery once they see the list of complications that can occur. However, after numerous discussions with doctors and experts on the subject, they make the best decision for themselves and their family. Most families decide to take the risks and have the cochlear implant surgery performed. Each person is different and every situation is unique, but most of the outcomes of a cochlear implant are an easier and better quality of life.
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