Essay: Impact of Cochlear Implants

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[OPENING STATEMENT] A Cochlear Implant (CI) is a device that is surgically implanted into a patient’s cochlea, which is stimulated to restore hearing. This electronic medical device does the work of damaged parts of the cochlea to provide sound signals to the brains of patients with moderate to profound hearing loss [Cochlear Source]. Children as young as 12 months old and adults are eligible to receive CIs if they fit a certain criteria describing profound hearing loss (CITE). [EXPAND] The purpose of the cochlear implant is to give individuals the sensation of hearing, but how does this given sense of hearing impact the individual in other ways? More importantly, what is the interaction between psychological health and cochlear implants? There are both positive and negative outcomes of cochlear implants, however the positive outcome outweigh the negatives, thus cochlear implants provide both biological and psychological benefits to individuals, benefits to and from society, and a greater acceptance in the community. [RESTRUCTURE THESIS?]
Individual Impacts of Cochlear Implants
The CI’s target is to allow individuals to hear better than they could with a hearing aid or without [CITE]. By providing hearing, individuals can experience the noisy environment and reconnect with missed sounds that they could not hear before. However, CIs do not work for everyone, and can come with some downfalls that hinder the individual’s experience and growth. Although the hearing aspect is the main outcome that results from implantation, the CI provides biological and psychological impacts to the individual. [EXPAND]
Biological Impacts on the Individual
In the biological aspect, the implant converts digitally coded sounds into electrical impulses and sends them along the electrode array placed in the cochlea. These electrodes stimulate the hearing nerve, thus being interpreted as sound in the brain [SOURCE]. Despite the fact that this process is the same for every cochlear implant user, the benefit of cochlear implants is often different for different individuals. This difference can be due to multiple factors such as when the individual received the implant, severity of hearing loss, and how long the individual has had hearing loss prior to receiving the implant [SOURCE].
One main difference that has varying impacts on the individual is when the individual received the implant. Evidence exists such that children as young as 12 months are safely receiving cochlear implant surgery [SOURCE]. Furthermore, studies indicate that having implants inserted at a younger age leads to more benefits for deaf children, including increased language ability and listening abilities (EARLY IMPLANTATION SOURCE). This study also found that children implanted in infancy did better in language development than their peers who received implants later and approached the language development skills of normal hearing children of the same age. [TRANSITION]. In older adults with cochlear implants, specifically those who had lost their hearing after already having lingual skills, a large significant increase in speech perception was found (CI OLDER ADULTS SOURCE). [CLOSING STATEMENT]
Another factor that influences the efficiency of cochlear implants in individuals is …

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