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History of Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants

Info: 1093 words (4 pages) Nursing Essay
Published: 17th Jun 2020

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Tagged: hearing losscochlear implants


Hearing aids are a small electrical device that goes in or behind your ears. It makes some sounds louder for people who have hearing loss so they can hear, listen and communicate through out their daily activities. Hearing aids have three parts: a microphone, amplifier and a speaker. Meanwhile a cochlear is an electrical medical device that helps with the function of the damaged ear. They are not like hearing aids which make sound louder but the cochlear implant work in place of the damaged inner ear to send sound signals to the brain. The earliest invention of hearing aids was in the 13th century people who had hearing loss were using hollowed out horns of animals such as cows and rams. (Healthy Hearing , n.d.) Then over the course of the last few centuries it has improved significantly. In 1996 the first full digital hearing aid model was introduced. In 2005 80% of digital hearing aids represented the market. The original Cochlear Implant was invented in 1957 by Andre Djourno and Charles Eyries. The device was used to distributed stimulation using a single channel. However more research indicated that a single channel cochlear implants were limited of usefulness. The modern multi-channel cochlear was developed by two different people, Graeme Clark hailing from Australia and Ingeborg Hochmair. (Wikipedia , n.d.)

Figure 2 How a hearing aid is worn (StarKey Hearing Technologies , n.d.)

Figure 1 How a Cochlear transplant is worn


 Discussion :

A hearing aid works when it receives sound waves signals through a microphone, th which then converts the sound waves to electrical signals. Then it sends them to the amplifier. This increases the power of the signals and then sends them to the ear through the speaker. A cochlear implant works with 4 parts: a sound processer is worn behind the ear or can be in the body of the ear, which will capture the sound and then will turn it into the digital code. Then the sound processor sends the digital code sound through to the coil which is on your head, to the implant. Then the implant converts the digital code into electrical impulses and sends them to the electrode array placed in the inner ear. Then finally the implants electrodes simulate the the cochlea’s hearing nerve, which sends impulses to the brain and they interpreted as sound.

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Depending on the wave, the wave will have different energy transfer. A electromagnetic wave, its energy is transferred through vibrations of electric and magnetic fields. In sound waves, energy is transferred through vibration of air particles of a solid through which the sounds travels. In water, the energy is transferred through vibration of water particles.

Sound is energy that when produced, vibrates the medium through which it travels, usually air. For example; when you bang a drum, the tight skin vibrates at a very high speed which you cannot see. The air around is forced to vibrate as well. Sound can be like light in ways such as it travels from a definite source such as anmusical instrument or a noisy machine and like when the light travels from the sun or a lightbulb. But there are some differences from sound and light, we know that light travels through a vacuum so that it can reach earth. Sound doesn’t travel through a vacuum, it always has to travel through a medium such as air. (Woodford, n.d.)

The hearing aid has impacted humans by helping us being able to hear, but there are some pros and cons with hearing aids depending on what type it is. Some positives of the Behind The ear(BTE) are it is durable, helps with the broadest range of hearing loss. Easier to clean and comes in a few sizes. Negatives it can be seen depending on hair style, some people don’t like this type when wearing glasses and sometimes requires tubing change every six months if ear mould is used. Some positives of cochlear implant are it increases your hearing, can help you be more alerted, can learn without help. Negatives are sport risks especially when playing contact sport and water sport, background noise can effect when speaking. (121Captions , 2019)


In conclusion Hearing aids and cochlear are effective at doing their job as they help people with hearing loss and improves their hearing so they can go on with their daily life. The future of hearing aids and cochlear implants might be interesting as they could be connected to your phone and can answers phone calls and listen to music to from your phone.


  • 121Captions . (2019, june 4th). 7 cochlear implant pros and cons that will make you think . Retrieved from 121Captions : https://www.121captions.com/2017/03/31/cochlear-implant-pros-cons/
  • Cochlear . (n.d.). Cochlear implants and cochlear technology . Retrieved June 4th , 2019, from Cochlear : https://www.cochlear.com/au/home/understand/hearing-and-hl/hl-treatments/cochlear-implant
  • Healthy Hearing . (n.d.). Hearing aid history: from ear trumpets to digital technology . Retrieved June 4th , 2019, from Healthy Hearing : https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/47717-Digital-hearing-aid-history
  • JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINE . (n.d.). Cochlear Implant Surgey . Retrieved June 4th , 2019 , from JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINE : https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/cochlear-implant-surgery
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communciation Disorders . (n.d.). Hearing Aids . Retrieved June 4th, 2019, from National Institute on Deafness and Other Communciation Disorders : https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing-aids#hearingaid_01
  • StarKey Hearing Technologies . (n.d.). Behind-The-Ear BTE. Retrieved June 4th , 2019, from StarKey Hearing Technologies : https://www.starkey.com.au/hearing-aids/behind-the-ear-hearing-aids/power
  • Wikipedia . (n.d.). Cochlear implant . Retrieved June 4th, 2019, from Wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochlear_implant#History
  • Woodford, C. (n.d.). Sound . Retrieved June 4th, 2019, from EXPLAINTHATSTUFF: https://www.explainthatstuff.com/sound.html


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A cochlear implant is a small device that a doctor puts in your ear through surgery. It sends compulsions directly to your auditory nerve, which carries sound signals to your brain.

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