The Cochlear Implant is an electronic device that is surgically implanted into the inside of the ear and operated with an external ear device. It is used to correct the inability to hear the voice. This procedure is called cochlear implant surgery.
Simultaneously, it is used if all remedies that hear the voice better fail. The cochlear implant is not an ear trumpet that helps to hear the sound faster, but it directly affects the auditory nerves present in the person’s body, thereby solving hearing problems.
The cochlear implant is used to treat unhearing/hard of hearing/deafness due to cochlea malfunction. The inner part of the ear is known as the cochlea. Its shape resembles the shell (armour) of the snail.
The cochlea consists of thousands of hair-shaped cells, named stereocilia. Stereocilia acquire sound waves and convert them into electrical signals. These electrical signals are subsequently received by the auditory nerves, which lead the message to the brain, which perceives that sound.
The cochlear implant device comprises of some parts, which are as follows-
Microphone: This is the outer part of the cochlear device. It accepts extraneous sound and sends it to the speech processor.
Speech processor: It receives sound from the mic and converts it into a digital signal. Then sends these signals to the transmitter.
Transmitter: The cochlear device sends a signal to the receiver, which is placed inside the skin.
Receiver: The cochlear device ensures how much current must pass through the electrodes. The volume of the current depends on the density of the sound.
Electrodes: It receives the signal from the receiver and triggers the auditory nerve present in the cochlea, which carries the cingle to the brain from where it perceives the sound.
What is the procedure of cochlear implant surgery?
Cochlear implant surgery involves the following points:
Step 1: Preliminary tests of cochlear implant surgery are carried out by the otolaryngologist while the patient is taken to the operation theatre to ensure that the electrodes are working more efficiently.
Step 2: Cochlear implant surgery takes about 60-75 minutes and the patient is given anaesthesia so that he does not feel any pain. After this, the hair behind her ear is shaved, so that this procedure can be easily carried out.
Step 3: The surgeon cuts the patient’s ear and pierces through the mastoid bone (part of the temporal bone of the skull). Through this hole, the electrode is inserted into the cochlea.
Step 4: Pocket is made in the backside of the ear, in which the receiver is placed. This helps to secure the pocket receiver. The hole is then closed with melting stitches.
Step 5: Approximately a month after this surgery, external devices such as a microphone, speech processor, and transmitter are placed outside the ear.
Step 6: The team of specialists tell the patient how to take care of the implant and how to hear the sound through it.
What are the risks of cochlear implant surgery?
Although cochlear implant surgery is performed through a small cut that is quite safe each surgery has its risks or hazards, similarly, cochlear implant surgery also has some risks, which are as follows:
There may be difficulty in healing the wounds after cochlear implant surgery. Infections may occur in the part of the body where the cochlear implant surgery is performed, but the patient has reduced the risk of infection by injecting antibiotics during the operation.
There is also a risk of facial nerve damage after this cochlear implant surgery as it is done through the ear. This may be due to a facial pulse where the muscles on the side of the face become weak where the surgery was performed.
Sometimes there can be trouble in the part of the facial pulse where the tongue senses taste between the brains, which makes a person aware of the taste of the thing. To reduce the risk of the facial nerve, small needles are carefully applied to the face during the operation.
A lesion may occur on the part of the skin where the implant is performed. Sometimes cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may leak. Sometimes it can be cured on its own or it may have to be repaired. If it is not cured, then anaesthesia is given inside the ear and packed there. Also, it may happen that this device does not work, but it happens very rarely. In such a situation you should contact the surgeon and he will take all necessary steps to correct it.
Most people are unaware that the treatment of deafness is also possible now, so they often ignore this problem and do not get treatment of themselves or their families on time.