preview

The Cochlear Implant

Satisfactory Essays
The Cochlear Implant

The cochlear implant is possibly one of the greatest

inventions designed to benefit the deaf community. A

cochlear implant is a device implanted internally behind a

deaf persons ear with an external microphone, and is

designed to provide artificial sounds to people who have

nerve deafness in both ears and show no ability to

understand speech through hearing aids. Since the

development of the cochlear implant in the 1960’s, more

than 10,000 people worldwide have been implanted with this

device.

Although this may seem like the perfect device to aid

deafness, a lot of controversy still exists about the cochlear

implant. There are many advantages and disadvantages

about the implant. I will start by discussing the advantages.

The cochlear implant has allowed many deaf people to live

out ‘hearing lives’. During the 1960’s, more primitive

implants allowed for partial hearing, the percentage of words

that could be understood without lip reading was about 12%,

But with modern technology, that number has risen to about

80%,

making conversations with a deaf person and a hearing

person possible through speech without the use of sign

language. Deaf people who have experienced hearing and

language skills previously, benefit much more from the

implant because they do not have to learn new sounds or

words.

Although the cochlear implant can benefit deaf people

greatly, there are still many disadvantages. Of the 15 million

people in the U.S. with significant hearing loss. Less than 1%

are potential candidates the the cochlear implant. There is no

standardized criteria for accepting or rejecting a candidate,

but they often need to meet audiological, medical, and

psychological criteria. As with all surgeries, there is some

degree of risk, but because of the anatomical location being

so close to the brain, these risks are much greater. Even

though the cochlear implant may be suitable for more deaf