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Full Version: Uses and Benefits of Cochlear Implants
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The cochlear implant is a sophisticated device that is installed in the inner ear, in order to enable the deaf persons to hear again. Cochlear implant replaces the lost function of the inner ear by receiving the sounds, and then using the speech processor converting the electrical signals. These electrical signals are transmitted through the electrodes embedded in the inner ear to the auditory nerve and then further to the brain centers. The result of this advanced technology is giving deaf individuals contact with the sound, and by proper rehabilitation, the understanding of the language and the development of speech is achievable. Children with good rehabilitation success can attend school.

Elements of Cochlear Implant

A cochlear implant consists of an inner and outer part. The inner part consists of electrodes that are surgically implanted in the inner ear. Surgical procedure for installing the cochlear implant does not differ significantly from normal microsurgical operations of the ear. External component of the cochlear implant consists of a microphone and speech processor. Speech processor enables the conversion of sound energy received via microphone into electrical signals, which are then transmitted through the electrode to the nerve fibers in the auditory nerve, and further to the hearing centers of the brain cortex. In this way the patient becomes aware of the sound and is able to habilitate during rehabilitation for independent and unobstructed auditory-verbal communication. Speech processor can be placed behind the ear or worn around the neck.

All elements of the system for cochlear implants are made of natural materials and each product undergoes a rigorous medical and technical tests.

Candidates for Cochlear Implantation

Cochlear implants can help almost all deaf children up to 8 years old, and adults who once had developed speech, and then completely lost their hearing. In children older than 8 years and adults who have not been in contact with the sound, a cochlear implant can provide only a sense of sound, but not understanding of the speech. Consequence of many years of living in complete silence is loss of ability of hearing centers in the brain to create sound pictures, and therefore, the understanding is persistently disabled. This phenomenon occurs because the aging brain loses its plasticity and ability to process the sounds. For this reason it is necessary to install the cochlear implant as early as possible.

Preoperative Diagnosis

In the preoperative evaluation of the patient, the attention is paid to the whole patient, and not just a state of hearing.
Thus, except for audiology diagnostics, the patient must be reviewed by surdologist , neurologists, psychologists, ophthalmologists, and radiologists in order to assess the condition of the inner ear. After the set of analysis, the decision is made about the possibility of installing the cochlear implant.

The Operations

Installation of cochlear implant is a microsurgical operation that takes about 3 hours. During surgery, electrodes are placed in the inner ear, and during the operation, we examine the activity of the electrode set. After receiving results of the measuring that show that the implant is functional, the operation is finished. The postoperative course lasts seven days, when the stitches are removed and the patient discharged from the hospital.

Programming Implants

After the surgery, the implant is not functional. 6 weeks after the surgery the activation of implant is made by linking the implant that is surgically fitted to the speech processor which is located behind the ear or worn on the body. Simultaneously, the hearing map is constructed, and the minimally and maximally bearable sound is determined. That is the range within which the cochlear implant will work. This range extends by auditory training, and in the following programming sessions is getting bigger and bigger. Programming is conducted every month in the first year and every second month in the second year after the operation.


After installing the cochlear implant, the rehabilitation is necessary. Cochlear implant itself does not mean the patient can communicate smoothly. In the course of rehabilitation treatment, an acoustic memory is formed and the patient begins to communicate. Many patients after the rehabilitation treatment can attend regular school and, besides that, they can even use the phone.
In short we can say: "A cochlear implant is not a miracle, but it allows the miracle to happen."