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Is Hearing With a Cochlear Implant Like Regular Hearing?

Our body is composed of several indispensable organs in the absence of whom we tend to miss out on crucial functions. The ability to see, speak, smell, and hear are some of the essential functions of a human’s body. Imagine losing out on any of these senses; life will undoubtedly be hard to progress. You will feel traumatized by the whole world breaking down right before your eyes. This similar feeling is experienced by people who find themselves hard of hearing or parents when they discover that their newborn child undergoes critical hearing loss.


A cochlear implant is a device specifically designed for all these hearing-impaired cases where the person has lost the majority or entirety of their hearing possibility. Through the surgical implementation of this device, the person can gradually regain their speech and language development possibilities. Though many are aware of the cochlear meaning, a vast percentage still is in a dilemma about how the sound derived from an implant differs from regular hearing. This article will focus on the sound quality derived from an implant and how its results vary from that of regular hearing.


Before that, How Exactly Does a Cochlear Implant Work?

It is essential to understand that a cochlear implant is different from your regular hearing aid. A cochlear implant is surgically placed and consists of two sections. The external section sits behind the ear and the internal part is surgically positioned under the skin. Generally, a magnet fastens the external system in place adjacent to the implanted internal system. Here is how this functions:

  1. The surgeon positions the cochlear implant under the skin adjacent to the ear

  2. The cochlear implant receives sound from the external environment, examines it, and delivers compact electric currents near the auditory nerve.

  3. These electric currents activate the nerve, which then delivers the signal to the brain.

  4. The brain gains knowledge on how to identify this signal, and the wearer undergoes this as ‘hearing’.

A cochlear implant is pretty different from a general hearing aid that simply amplifies sound. A cochlear implant performs in a progressive manner by turning up the volume, the nerves are electrically stimulated to deliver signals, and the brain translates and conducts the remaining work.


That is not the end; people who have undergone cochlear implants need to undergo intensive speech therapy to apprehend how to analyze what they are hearing.


How the Sound Derived from a Cochlear Implant is Different from a Hearing Aid?

The first and foremost thing to note is a cochlear implant doesn’t hold the potency to restore normal hearing. However, it does have the power to help certain specific wearers identify words and properly understand speech, including when using a telephone.


The sound received from a cochlear implant is quite different from normal hearing. In fact, it has been noticed that in people who have normal hearing in one ear and a cochlear implant in another state, the impulses are distinguishable from how they receive sounds from their implant. What’s the reason behind it? With normal hearing, the sound is apprehended through hair cells in the cochlea, which then transports the sound vibrations into electrical signals that are eventually delivered to the brain. In comparison, a cochlear implant bypasses the impaired hair cells and directly boosts the auditory nerve, thereby developing a sensation of hearing in the recipient.


The auditory experience with a cochlear implant is demonstrated by recipients as ‘artificial’ or ‘mechanical’. The sound quality may deviate distinctly among recipients and is affected by numerous factors like the duration of hearing loss, the age when the implant was conducted, and the individual’s capacity to adapt to the fresh auditory input.


Speech Perception Through Cochlear Implants

One of the primary goals of cochlear implantation is to advance speech perception in recipients. Although cochlear implants have been notably successful in attaining the objective, speech perception is not identical to that of individuals with normal hearing.


There have been cases of difficulties encountered by recipients in apprehending speeches in noisy environments or during times when multiple speakers are talking. Moreover, background noise also interferes with the sound clarity retrieved from the implant, making it even more challenging to follow conversations in mass gatherings. And blocking noise is certainly not an issue for people with typical hearing facilities.


Conclusion

Coming to the ultimate difference - despite having considerable distinctiveness in hearing, a cochlear implant is still, any day, an excellent choice for people undergoing severe hearing issues. Moreover, the human brain has unimaginable potency to adapt and learn, making the technique of processing sound from a cochlear implant seamless. Continuous practice and auditory rehabilitation help the brain interpret the artificial auditory input more efficiently.


Moreover, if your cochlear implant is as advanced as that of Neubio, then hearing will undoubtedly be seamless. The progressive features of Neubio, like Full-Spectrum, Clear Sound, minimal insertion depth, and thinnest electrodes, are mainly created to offer hearing-impaired people a breeze of relief.


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