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January 1, 2004

Cochlear implants make hearing possible

From: News 8 Austin, TX - Jan 1, 2004

By: Texas Tech University

Cochlear implants are similar to traditional hearing aids but go a step further because they convert sounds into signals that are sent directly to the brain.

Sources says cochlear implants are changing the way educators and health professionals think about children with hearing impairment.

"As opposed to a hearing aid that takes sounds and just amplifies whatever you hear and sends it through the bones of the middle ear … it directly stimulates the cochlea and the impulses are sent directly to the brain," said speech language therapist Frankie Sims.

Children and adults can see positive results from the cochlear implants.

"Children …and adults who are not receiving benefit from a traditional hearing aid are ones who are candidates for a cochlear implant … These are children for whom hearing aids are not effective … They also need to be at least 12 months of age for the implant surgery performed," Sims said.

Right now in the United States about 13,000 adults and 10,000 have implants. Kids are able to listen to oral speech and grasp meaning through listening.

It costs about $40,000 to receive a cochlear implant, which includes surgery and some rehabilitation.

Most insurance companies cover the cost.

Copyright ©2004TWEAN News Channel of Austin, L.P. d.b.a. News 8 Austin