09 Oct Cochlear Implant
What is cochlear implant?
Cochlear implant is an inner ear prosthesis that is atteached by surgical intervention designed to help those who have not seen enough benefit from their heaing aids or who have advanced/ severe heaing loss that their hearing aids are inadequate. Bionic ear system is form of two sections. Firstly, with 2-4 hours operation an implant’s inner is placed to inner ear, the second part is the microphone that processes the received speech, volume sensitiveness unit, where the volume control is located which is placed outer of the ear. The voices are received from the outer microphone and it is converted to the electrical signal, signals reaches to the speech processor. It put into code there and with the help of radio waves it reaches to implant from the skin. The implant is fed a series of electrical stimulation of the electrodes in the cochlea (snail). In this way, auditory nerve takes this signal and sends them to brain. Brain comprehends this signals as voice.
Who can benefit from cochlear implant?
- From birth or kids ages between 0-5 who have lost hearing afterwards and adults,
- Hearing loss is caused only by a problem in the inner ear and can not get enough speech information with a hearing aids,
- Adults who had ability to hear and lost his/her hearing after an illness, operation and result of accident.
- Hearing loss of 95 Dbhl or more,
- Advanced, very advanced and total off hearing loss can be able to benefit from this.
For whom the cochlear implant is not applicable?
- If a well-tuned device provides enough speech and understanding capacity,
- If there is advanced hearing loss for a long while,
- If the main reason of hearing loss is not cochlea,
- If the cochlea is in a bead condition that does not take any electrons, auditory nerve is damages or not available,
- If the person is not healthy enough to handle operation and anesthesia, applying Cochlea Implant is not efficient.
What are the benefits of cochlear implant?
- Hearing daily voices: Cochlear implant users more likely to hear environmental voices. Thereby, the person gets a chance to communicate better with environment.
- Understanding the speech: Even though this happens in children for a certain time, the voices of the conversation become clear. The ability to undertstand the hearing specially the ones who can lip-read is more helpful and for the most users in their daily life the communication gets easier.
- Improving speech, developing: Implant users can improve their speech by time by hearing themselves and another people’s speech.
- Hearing in the loud environment: It provides understanding the speeches with advanced speech processor and in loud environment fast warning capacity.
How does cochlear implant perform?
From every aspect when the candidate is ready for the surgery, Cochlea Implant happens under general anesthesia approximately 2-4 hours. The risk of the operation is as similar as the other ear operations. The room is making for impant behind the ear. A small hole opens up in the ear. Electrode scanner cochlear (inner ear) is being placed. Electrode scanner and implant packet is fixed. Before closing up the wound, electrode function is texted. Usually, when the patients wake up, they do not feel any discomfort. After the operation, if pain occus, a pain killer is given to prevent infections an antibictorial is given to the patient. Patients who get up on the same day are usually discharged from hospital 3-5 days.
How does hearing occur with cochlea implant?
The speech processor, specially prepared by the audiologist, is inserted 3-6 weeks after the operation. The program of the speech processor connected to the computer includes settings for the volume, tone and timing of the voice. The computer transmits the signals generated by the controlled levels to the user through the speech processor. The lowest sound level (threshold level) and the highest but uncomfortable sound level (the most comfortable level) that the user can hear are determined. For all electrodes in the cochlear is determined separately according to the two levels. Thereby the voices will be heard but it will not bother the patient. Following sessions this program will get adjusted. On the following the process, the user and family should absolutely adhere to a follow-up program designed to provide the greatest benefit to the cochlear implant team.