February 25, 1957 marked the beginning of a small great medical revolution: it was placed the first cochlear implant. This device is undoubtedly one of the great advances in terms of hearing health. For this reason, every February 25th the International Cochlear Implant Day. And it is no wonder, because there is much to celebrate.
Among those who especially celebrate this day are the 18 thousand people who have heard again in Spain thanks to an implant cochlear. A figure that, it is estimated, will reach 20 thousand in 2023. However, the number should be much higher, since experts warn that Only 1 in 20 adults likely to benefit from it use this hearing solution.
The basic premise to qualify a person as a candidate for a cochlear implant is that they suffer severe or profound hearing loss, either in both ears or just one. In these cases, headphones are not enough and implementation is presented as the alternative.
The cochlear implant, a ‘transformative technique’
The importance and significance of these devices is attested to by the World Health Organization (WHO), which describes cochlear implants as a ‘transformative technique’. The basis of this hearing solution is a electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. This device has Two parts: an external call sound processorand one internal which is located in the inner ear through a simple surgical intervention. The processor collects and transmits the sound, digitally encoded, to the internal part of the system, which in turn converts these signals into electrical impulses and thus stimulates the auditory nerve. This sends the impulses to the brain, where they are interpreted as sound.
After the operationthe implanted person must attend device programming and adjustment sessionsin addition to performing auditory rehabilitation in a specialized center with the support and monitoring of a audiology professional. After the intervention and the adaptation process, users not only recover the hearingbut they can also speak and understand the language more easily and clearly.
“The cochlear implant gives you security, confidence and self-esteem”
There is no better way to raise awareness about the benefits of cochlear implants than to give their users a voice. They always agree that this hearing solution has changed their lives. A good example is Miguel Barrosoadministrative and production manager, who insists that “The implant has improved the levels of social relationships and, above all, it has allowed me to do things with greater security, confidence and self-esteem”.
Also to Núria Amela, councilor of the Calatayud town council, has changed his life. The cochlear implant, he says, ““It opened up my social and family life and has allowed me to recover experiences that I considered over, such as listening to music, attending cultural events, social and family gatherings… In short, it has allowed me to recover a normal life.”