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April 20, 2005

Hearing Device Helps The Hearing Impaired

From: KATV - Little Rock,AR,USA - Apr 20, 2005

Location: Little Rock
Reporter: Christina Muoz
Posted: April 20, 2005 8:02 PM EST

Little Rock - A device called the Cochlear implant restores the ability to hear sound and understand speech in patients with extreme hearing loss.

Linda Culpepper has suffered from hearing loss for the past eighteen years due to having multiple sclerosis. She recently had an electronic device implanted underneath her skin called the Cochlear implant.

(Doctor Chris Danner)
"It takes an electrical signal, the sound wave that comes in through the ear is changed to an electrical signal and it's transmitted through an electrode array into the inner ear and it directly stimulates the inner ear and allows people to hear."

For Culpepper, the advanced technology has changed her life.

(Linda Culpepper, Cochlear Implant Patient)
"One of the first things that happened, I heard wind chimes on my porch for the first time in 18 years, wind chimes."

Doctor Chris Danner says the sound quality is not the same as normal hearing.

(Doctor Danner)
"People that have heard, had normal hearing and go deaf later on, describe the sound as a mickey mouse on helium."

But for Culpepper, the sound she gets from the device is much better than her other option.

"For anyone who has a hearing loss, once it gets to a certain level, you need to see someone about it. That's the main thing. Don't just ignore it and put yourself in a box or a closet, which is what I tried to do."

Culpepper's only regret is not having the procedure done earlier.

"If anybody tried to take it out I'd kill 'em."

 Linda Culpepper has a quilt-making business and she is now taking classes at UALR a feat she never thought she'd be able to do.

Copyright 2005 katv, LLC