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  • What are cochlear implants?

    What are cochlear implants?

    About cochlear implants

    Cochlear implants can provide viable hearing alternatives to anybody who doesn’t benefit from typical hearing aids. They consist of a receiver which is implanted in the mastoid bone, behind the ear and electrodes which are implanted into the cochlea (inner ear). The microphone and speech processor are located externally and they convert sounds into electrical impulses which are transmitted to the electrodes implanted in the inner ear. The electrodes use the auditory nerve to communicate these signals to the brain, which perceives the impulses as sound.

    Who uses cochlear implants?

    Around 7,500 people in the UK are considered audiologically suitable for a cochlear implant and there are currently around 11,000 people already utilising cochlear implants. Children or adults with severe or profound deafness could well benefit from cochlear implants. Additionally, cochlear implants can make a real difference to anybody who struggles with the use of traditional hearing aids. Bone conducting hearing implants are another form of implanted hearing treatment, which can benefit anyone with conductive or mixed hearing loss. Around 10,000 people in the UK currently use bone conducting hearing implants.

    About bone conducting hearing implants

    A bone conducting hearing implant is suitable for people with single-sided deafness and will transmit sound to the good ear. People with conductive hearing loss experience a problem with sound travelling freely to the cochlea, which could be caused by abnormalities in the structure of the ear or blockages, due to excess ear wax or middle ear fluids. A mixed hearing loss is a result of the loss of hair cells within the cochlea or the hearing nerve.

    Bone conducting hearing implants work via direct bone conduction and are independent of the ear and the ear canal. They consist of a small titanium screw which is implanted into the skull to provide an anchor for the sound processor and an abutment which is attached to the screw and provides a base for the sound processor. The sound processor acts in a way that’s similar to the middle ear and converts sound waves into vibrations which can be passed to the inner ears.

    Cochlear implants – where to get more information

    We are pleased to have been appointed as a reseller of the Advanced Bionics (AB) range of cochlear implant accessories and components, including AquaCase – the world’s first waterproof case for cochlear implant recipients. These accessories set the standard in quality and innovation, while allowing recipients to customise their AB sound processors to fit their needs—all weather, all sports, all terrain, all ages and all lifestyles. Please get in touch if you’d like to talk to us about cochlear implant accessories.

    You can read about the accessories we provide in our Cochlear Implant Accessories section.

  • Causes of hearing loss

    3 surprising habits which can lead to hearing loss

    Aside from the odd infection and build-up of ear wax, it’s easy to view our ears as fairly simple organs. Though many people don’t realise it, other parts of your body can have a direct impact on the state of your ears. Here are three seemingly unrelated issues that are among the causes of hearing loss.

    Smoking

    No surprise here. If you’re a smoker, you regularly hear how bad it is for you from friends, family, doctors and even cigarette packets. Though the most glaring symptoms are in your respiratory and cardiovascular systems, smoking can also contribute to hearing loss.

    The harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke are detrimental to your inner ear’s ability to transmit vibrations to your brain, and the more you smoke, the more damage you’ll cause to your ear. Though you’ve probably heard this a million times before, second-hand smoke will have the exact same effects on those around you.

    Overeating and under-exercising

    Being overweight places you at risk of many different problems, from circulatory trouble to diabetes to heart problems. Though many aren’t aware of it, all of these health issues have been linked to hearing loss. One 2013 study from the US Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that women with higher body mass indexes were 17% more likely to experience some form of hearing loss.

    The study also established that non-strenuous physical activity, such as walking for at least two hours per week, lowered the risk of weight-related hearing loss. Of course, this is just one way body weight affects your health – it’s never too late to establish some healthier habits!

    Not having regular dental check-ups

    Perhaps the most surprising habit that can lead to hearing loss is taking a blasé approach to your dental health. When you don’t keep an eye on your pearly whites, it can allow harmful bacteria to get into the bloodstream, clogging and constricting the arteries that carry blood to the brain. This can cause interference in the way your brain receives signals from your auditory nerve. Poor oral health can also increase your risk of heart problems, diabetes and stroke, which have all been linked with hearing loss.

    Causes of hearing loss – where to find out more

    If you’d like to know more about how to protect your hearing, or if you’d like to have a hearing check-up, please contact us

    Or you can learn more on our Hearing Protection web page.

 

 
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