Understanding The Functionality Of The Cochlear Implant

1019 words - 4 pages

The World Health Organization had estimated approximately 278 million people internationally are diagnosed with moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears. Diagnostic medical records from the World Health Organisation proposed that incidences of hearing loss frequently increase due to the population ages and life expectancy rate improving. Additionally, according to healthyhearing 2012, the majority of type of hearing loss people experience is Sensorineural hearing loss; hair cells in the inner ear or nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain are severely damaged. Ranges of technology such as hearing aids continue to expand and assist the victims of hearing loss however; the technology scientists had produced and offered to the public in the past could only amplify sound. The development of the cochlear implant had significantly expanded ever since an Australian otolaryngologist, Professor Graeme Clark and his team of three Melbourne health professionals- audiologist Professor Richard Dowell, surgeons Dr Robert Webb and Dr Brian Pyman had successfully formed a solution to effectively restore hearing by developing the first multi-channel hearing prosthesis and to prove his proposal; he preformed the first implantable prosthetic “bionic ear” surgery on a human patient with the assistance of a medical technology organization, Nucleus in 1974. The success had established doctors to commercially perform cochlear implant on patients from 1982 to the present in Australia and to other countries in the world.

International researchers applied an implanted device which presented wires leading internally and externally leading to the head on an individual. Clark theoretically hypothesised that the implanted device provides more opportunities to infections for the affected being. Despite the amount of uncertainty and criticisms many of the scientists had formed about Clark’s ideas, Clark strongly hypothesised that the implant must be imbedded and receive information via electromagnetic transmission than linking to an external source. The choices to insert the electrode (an electrical conductor which electric currents enters or exits an object) were quite limited due to hazardous risks and as a result, the ideas researchers had created did not meet to their expectations. Clark had difficulty to prove his hypothesis despite the amount of research he had conducted and the risks were present; destroyed stimulated nerves and middle ear infections leading to meningitis in which his specialist ear surgeon colleagues had elaborated -he was experiencing a dilemma; the method to insert the electrode inside the cochlea in order to form a spiral without damaging the cochlea ruthlessly. Intriguingly, during his holiday while struggling to find a solution, Clark was settling at the beach for a while until he had finally accomplished to find an answer to his problem. He had discovered a spiral shell replicating the cochlea (Gastropod shell) and a nearby mass of...

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