What is a cochlear implant? For whom it is?

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Cochlear implants are one of the great advances that medicine has developed in the last 60 years. Today, thanks to this medical advance, more than 300 thousand people worldwide have heard again, of which 10 thousand are in Spain.

It is an electronic device designed for people suffering from severe or profound hearing loss, which has been previously "oralist", with good competence in lip reading and motivation to hear. This device transforms sounds into electrical signals to send directly to the auditory nerve. That is, implants replace the function that the damaged ear should play. This system avoids damaged areas of the ear and provides sound signals to the brain.

Cochlear implants are medical devices, which began to be implanted in the fifties. At that time these devices were monochannels. However, they have now been modernized and their technology is multichannel, with several electrodes that stimulate the nerve cells of the inner ear.

Who could use a cochlear implant?

Cochlear implants are intended for children affected by hearing loss, moderate or profound, people with hearing aids with whom they barely hear, people with a hearing of 50%, or less, in the ear to be implanted, demonstrated in recognition tests performed by professionals or specialists, or with a hearing of 60% or less, in tests performed on the non-implanted ear or both, in cases of ears, wearing hearing aids. All these tests will always be performed by specialists.

Thanks to him, this type of patients could hear better, than if they used a hearing aid to use, when it comes to severe or profound hearing loss. They can also talk on the phone and listen to music, in addition to being able to talk to other people in places with a lot of noise. However, it must be taken into account that some time is required for patients to learn to interpret the sounds they receive.

How is the process of implanting the cochlear implant?

cochlear implant

Before starting the implantation of the device, the specialists perform a series of tests on the patients, which will determine to what extent the hearing can be restored. These are tonal and verbal tests, with which to know the degree of hearing, the functioning of the vestibular part of the inner ear, a promontory test, another electroneurophysiological test, a speech therapy test and a psychological study, among other tests. All these tests are carried out by a team of multidisciplinary specialists who contrast all the results.

At the time of surgery, this intervention will be carried out through general anesthesia, which will last about 2 or 3 hours. The healing and post operative period is 3 to 5 weeks. Thereafter, the internal portions of the implant are coupled and the channels are opened so that the electrodes begin to pick up signals to send the sound information.

If you need to know more about this implant and its adaptation procedures, once implanted, you can find out here: https://escucharahoraysiempre.com/blog2/asi-es-la-recuperacion-tras-una-cirugia-de-implante-coclear /

On this website they will advise you the best professionals specialized in cochlear implants and will give you all the information you need, adapting to your situation as a patient.

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