[sasi] Cochlear implants and aids
dcmack2 at comcast.net
Tue Jan 26 19:53:41 GMT 2010
Hi, again folks. I am really enjoying my learning experience here. After
reading some of the comments about Cochlear Implants, I decided to check out
some websites. I found the following information from the Food & Drug
Administration to be quite helpful and am reprinting what I found (assuming
there is not a space limitation on this list). In case you wish to go to
their webpage, here is the link:
Benefits and Risks of Cochlear Implants
What are the Benefits of Cochlear Implants?
For people with implants:
Hearing ranges from near normal ability to understand speech to no hearing
benefit at all.
Adults often benefit immediately and continue to improve for about 3 months
after the initial tuning sessions. Then, although performance continues to
improve, improvements are slower. Cochlear implant users' performances may
continue to improve for several years.
Children may improve at a slower pace. A lot of training is needed after
implantation to help the child use the new 'hearing' he or she now
Most perceive loud, medium and soft sounds. People report that they can
perceive different types of sounds, such as footsteps, slamming of doors,
sounds of engines, ringing of the telephone, barking of dogs, whistling of
the tea kettle, rustling of leaves, the sound of a light switch being
switched on and off, and so on.
Many understand speech without lip-reading. However, even if this is not
possible, using the implant helps lip-reading.
Many can make telephone calls and understand familiar voices over the
telephone. Some good performers can make normal telephone calls and even
understand an unfamiliar speaker. However, not all people who have implants
are able to use the phone.
Many can watch TV more easily, especially when they can also see the
speaker's face. However, listening to the radio is often more difficult as
there are no visual cues available.
Some can enjoy music. Some enjoy the sound of certain instruments (piano or
guitar, for example) and certain voices. Others do not hear well enough to
What are the Risks of Cochlear Implants?
General Anesthesia Risks
General anesthesia is drug-induced sleep. The drugs, such as anesthetic
gases and injected drugs, may affect people differently. For most people,
the risk of general anesthesia is very low. However, for some people with
certain medical conditions, it is more risky.
Risks from the Surgical Implant Procedure
Injury to the facial nerve --this nerve goes through the middle ear to give
movement to the muscles of the face. It lies close to where the surgeon
needs to place the implant, and thus it can be injured during the surgery.
An injury can cause a temporary or permanent weakening or full paralysis on
the same side of the face as the implant.
Meningitis --this is an infection of the lining of the surface of the brain.
People who have abnormally formed inner ear structures appear to be at
greater risk of this rare, but serious complication.
Cerebrospinal fluid leakage --the brain is surrounded by fluid that may leak
from a hole created in the inner ear or elsewhere from a hole in the
covering of the brain as a result of the surgical procedure.
Perilymph fluid leak --the inner ear or cochlea contains fluid. This fluid
can leak through the hole that was created to place the implant.
Infection of the skin wound.
Blood or fluid collection at the site of surgery.
Attacks of dizziness or vertigo.
Tinnitus, which is a ringing or buzzing sound in the ear.
Taste disturbances --the nerve that gives taste sensation to the tongue also
goes through the middle ear and might be injured during the surgery.
Numbness around the ear.
Reparative granuloma --this is the result of localized inflammation that can
occur if the body rejects the implant.
There may be other unforeseen complications that could occur with long term
implantation that we cannot now predict.
Other Risks Associated with the Use of Cochlear Implants
People with a cochlear implant:
May hear sounds differently. Sound impressions from an implant differ from
normal hearing, according to people who could hear before they became deaf.
At first, users describe the sound as "mechanical", "technical", or
"synthetic". This perception changes over time, and most users do not notice
this artificial sound quality after a few weeks of cochlear implant use.
May lose residual hearing. The implant may destroy any remaining hearing in
the implanted ear.
May have unknown and uncertain effects. The cochlear implant stimulates the
nerves directly with electrical currents. Although this stimulation appears
to be safe, the long term effect of these electrical currents on the nerves
May not hear as well as others who have had successful outcomes with their
May not be able to understand language well. There is no test a person can
take before surgery that will predict how well he or she will understand
language after surgery.
May have to have it removed temporarily or permanently if an infection
develops after the implant surgery. However, this is a rare complication.
May have their implant fail. In this situation, a person with an implant
would need to have additional surgery to resolve this problem and would be
exposed to the risks of surgery again.
May not be able to upgrade their implant when new external components become
available. Implanted parts are usually compatible with improved external
parts. That way, as advances in technology develop, one can upgrade his or
her implant by changing only its external parts. In some cases, though, this
won't work and the implant will need changing.
May not be able to have some medical examinations and treatments. These
MRI imaging. MRI is becoming a more routine diagnostic method for early
detection of medical problems. Even being close to an MRI imaging unit will
be dangerous because it may dislodge the implant or demagnetize its internal
magnet. FDA has approved some implants, however, for some types of MRI
studies done under controlled conditions.
ionic radiation therapy.
Will depend on batteries for hearing. For some devices new or recharged
batteries are needed every day.
May damage their implant. Contact sports, automobile accidents, slips and
falls, or other impacts near the ear can damage the implant. This may mean
needing a new implant and more surgery. It is unknown whether a new implant
would work as well as the old one.
May find them expensive. Replacing damaged or lost parts may be expensive.
Will have to use it for the rest of life. During a person's lifetime, the
manufacturer of the cochlear implant could go out of business. Whether a
person will be able to get replacement parts or other customer service in
the future is uncertain.
May have lifestyle changes because their implant will interact with the
electronic environment. An implant may
set off theft detection systems
set off metal detectors or other security systems
be affected by cellular phone users or other radio transmitters
have to be turned off during take offs and landings in aircraft
interact in unpredictable ways with other computer systems
Will have to be careful of static electricity. Static electricity may
temporarily or permanently damage a cochlear implant. It may be good
practice to remove the processor and headset before contact with static
generating materials such as children's plastic play equipment, TV screens,
computer monitors, or synthetic fabric. For more details regarding how to
deal with static electricity, contact the manufacturer or implant center.
Have less ability to hear both soft sounds and loud sounds without changing
the sensitivity of the implant. The sensitivity of normal hearing is
adjusted continuously by the brain, but the design of cochlear implants
requires that a person manually change sensitivity setting of the device as
the sound environment changes.
May develop irritation where the external part rubs on the skin and have to
remove it for a while.
Can't let the external parts get wet. Damage from water may be expensive to
repair and the person may be without hearing until the implant is repaired.
Thus, the person will need to remove the external parts of the device when
bathing, showering, swimming, or participating in water sports.
May hear strange sounds caused by its interaction with magnetic fields, like
those near airport passenger screening machines.
End of FDA webpage.
Grandpa Dave in California
----- Original Message -----
From: "jeffrey" <jeffl989898 at verizon.net>
To: "sasi, (sight and sound impaired) discussion list" <sasi at acb.org>
Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 8:07 AM
Subject: Re: [sasi] Cochlear implants and aids
> JEFF LEWIN HERE,
> YES I AM SAME WAY NOW,
> AFTER ONLY 6 MONTHS
> I DON'T EVEN WANT TO TAKE A SHOWER WITHOUT PROCESSOR ON
> BUT OF COURSE I REMOVE IT.
> JEFF AND INCREDIBLE DOCKER
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Rick Roderick" <rickrod at insightbb.com>
> To: "sasi, (sight and sound impaired) discussion list" <sasi at acb.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 9:36 AM
> Subject: Re: [sasi] Cochlear implants and aids
>> I agree with you. Although a cochlear implant is not perfect, it is much
>> better than no hearing at all. I still use my right ear for music, but
>> the left one is my better speech ear.
>> I keep my hearing aid near me in the drawer of my bedside table. The CI
>> processor is in the computer room in the dryer that came with it. The
>> battery is plugged in nearby. I can communicate with my wife with ust
>> the hearing aid, but it is a strain. Something is definitely missing
>> until I get that processor on in the morning. In fact, I don't want to
>> do anything else until it is on.
>> sasi mailing list
>> sasi at acb.org
> sasi mailing list
> sasi at acb.org
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