How many of you actually know what a Cochlear Implant is? Yeah, sure – it’s that thing that has made Gaynor “hear” again! Laugh – yes, spot on! You’re right! But what actually is it? Sit back, make yourself comfortable – while I explain!
Clearing of throat, while marshalling my thoughts…..Okay, 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. I was profoundly deaf. In fact, I was due to lose the little hearing I had altogether!
The implant is surgically placed under the skin behind the ear. The basic parts of the device include:
One or more microphones which picks up sound from the environment.
A speech processor which selectively filters sound to prioritise audible speech, splits the sound into channels and sends the electrical sound signals through a thin cable to the transmitter.
A transmitter, which is a coil held in position by a magnet placed behind the external ear, and transmits power and the processed sound signals across the skin to the internal device by electromagnetic induction.
The internal part of a cochlear implant, a receiver and stimulator secured in bone beneath the skin, which converts the signals into electric impulses and sends them through an internal cable to electrodes, an array of up to 22 electrodes wound through the cochlea, which send the impulses to the nerves in the scala tympani and then directly to the brain through the auditory nerve system.
So now you know! And the best thing about Cochlear Implants is that one’s hearing continues to improve! I am hearing better 5 years after my op than I was when first I had it. And I will continue to improve! Just a thought to leave you with: When we are 80 years old, your hearing will be getting less and less. When I am 80 my hearing will be so sharp, I will be able to hear a pin drop!
Ha! Bet you are all wishing for Cochlear Implants now!