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Hearing impairment makes it difficult for some people to live a normal life because simple hearing aids do not work for them. But, people with hearing impairment do not have to worry as new technology hearing implants have made it possible for such people to live a normal life. Cochlear and BAHA implants are a perfect alternative for people with profound hearing loss that can help them to get the sense of hearing back.
Cochlear and BAHA or bone-anchored auditory implants are implanted surgically in the ear. It is a perfect solution for people with conductive hearing loss or mixed hearing loss and people suffering from one-sided hearing loss. It is a perfect solution for children suffering from malformations of the middle ear. These implants use sophisticated technology that stimulates the auditory nerve to send signals to the brain.
Difference between BAHA and a traditional hearing aid
The traditional hearing aid uses a system of air conduction for sending sound signals through the hearing system. The three main parts of the ear include the outer, the middle, and the inner ear through which the sound travels. People suffering from one-sided hearing loss suffer from hearing loss as the auditory nerve does not receive sound to send a clear signal to the brain.
When a person is suffering from conductive or mixed hearing loss, there is a blockage in the ear. in such cases, the bone-anchored auditory implant is a useful solution as the implant can send sound as a vibration directly to the inner ear allowing for clear hearing.
A cochlear implant is implanted surgically as well and it completely ignores the no working mechanism and stimulates the auditory nerve by electrodes that are implanted internally.
Working of a BAHA implant
Bone anchored auditory implant is made of two parts, one is internal, and the other is external.
The external part is the sound processor. It receives sounds from the environment and converts them into vibrations. The vibrations are then transmitted to the embedded implant.
When the internal mechanism receives vibrations from outside, the implant vibrates the bones in the middle ear and transmits sound waves to the inner ear. The inner ear then stimulates the hair cells and activates the nerve to send signals to the brain.
You can visit the CARE Hospital for BAHA hearing aid implantation as the hospital has renowned and experienced ENT doctors who can successfully implant the hearing aid into the bone.
Advantages of Bone anchored auditory implant
The BAHA can be implanted without surgery as compared to the cochlear implants. They are easy to implant and can be done at the doctor’s clinic. The BAHA hearing implants are the best option for children as they are easy to manage. These implants can help children and adults who suffer from severe outer or middle ear malformations, people suffering from one-sided hearing loss, or people suffering from recurrent and chronic ear infections.
A cochlear implant is used for people who suffer from severe hearing loss. They are different from other hearing aids because they stimulate the auditory nerve to give a sense of hearing. Cochlear implants do not help to recover from hearing loss but they only help to perceive hearing after bypassing the damaged part of the inner ear.
Working of a cochlear implant
The cochlear implant works by stimulating the auditory nerve to send signals to the brain and interpret sound. Cochlear implants have two parts: an external sound processor and an internal receiver and electrodes.
The external processor has a microphone and a speech processor that work as a unit. They are linked to the transmitter with a wire. It is kept at the internal part of the device. The microphone receives sounds and sends them to the processor. The processor after analyzing the sounds transforms the signal to send it to the transmitter. The signal is coded by the transmitter and then sent to the implanted receiver.
The internal part consists of a receiver that is placed under the skin on the temporal bone and electrodes. The transmitter’s signals are received by the receiver which converts them into electrical pulses to be sent to the electrodes located in the inner ear. The electrodes stimulate the nerve and the brain interprets these signals into sound.
Cochlear implants are recommended for people with extensive hearing loss, so people have to visit the hospital after surgery to know how to use the implant effectively. It is important for people who have never heard any sound before to learn how to use the implant properly.
Which implant is better for you?
A thorough evaluation is required for deciding the best implant for a particular case. You have to see an audiologist who will perform different tests to determine the severity and type of hearing loss and level of function before making a decision and referring to an ENT specialist for surgery.
Neither of the implants can cure hearing loss. The only benefit of using these implants is that a person can distinguish speech from other noises and can hear everyday sounds such as doorbells, telephone rings, television, or music.
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