It is estimated that over 12 million Americans in the United States have severe hearing loss, which cannot be helped by hearing aids. Hearing is critical to navigating your surroundings, hearing potential dangers and important sounds, and communicating. What can improve their hearing ability if hearing aids are not useful for those with profound hearing loss?
Cochlear implants are hearing devices that can help to improve the quality of life for many of these individuals by providing them a way to hear again. In the United States, about 118,100 cochlear implants have been implanted in adults and approximately 65,000 in children.
Let’s talk about what cochlear implants are, how they work, what the advantages are, and where you can find an audiologist to assess you or your child for cochlear implant eligibility in Georgetown, TX.
What Are Cochlear Implants?
A cochlear implant is different from other hearing aids. These electronic devices send electrical signals directly to the auditory nerve, which then sends them to the brain. In a way, it simulates natural hearing ability. This allows people with cochlear implants to hear sounds that they would not be able to hear otherwise. A cochlear implant is not a cure for deafness, but it can allow a person to receive sound signals and understand some speech.
What Are the Advantages of Cochlear Implants?
There are a few advantages that cochlear implants have over other hearing devices:
- They can provide a person with a sense of sound even if they have lost all-natural hearing.
- Cochlear implants bypass the damaged parts of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve, which can result in better sound quality than other devices that only serve to amplify sound.
- Cochlear implants can improve the ability to communicate, and they can help with the development of spoken language skills in young children with severe hearing loss.
What is the Structure of a Cochlear Implant?
The external portion includes a microphone, which picks up sound from the environment, and a speech processor, which analyzes incoming sounds and converts them into electrical signals. These electrical signals are then sent to a transmitter coil, which generates magnetic fields that stimulate electrodes in the internal portion of the device. The internal portion of the cochlear implant comprises an electrode system and a receiver, which are surgically implanted under the skin behind the ear, and threaded into the cochlea, which is the snail-shaped inner ear.
Cochlear implants are incredible in restoring hearing to people with severe hearing loss; however, it takes time and training to learn how to interpret the signals received from the device. It usually takes a few months of use before people with severe hearing loss see a great improvement in how they understand speech.
Audiologist in Georgetown, TX
At Georgetown Better Hearing Center, you will have an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor, Dr. Scott William Franklin, and audiologist, Abeda Mueed, dedicated to your care. From hearing testing and evaluation to finding the right hearing device for you, fitting and programming it, and learning how to use it, we will be with you every step. Hearing loss is more difficult without the right support, and our experts provide that and more.
To schedule an appointment with us, call Georgetown Better Hearing Center today at (512) 869-0604 or use our convenient online appointment request form.