Amplification of hearing in case of audibility and suppression of noises in case of recruitment characteristic of loudness play very important roles in the success of implants. Another factor that could easily equal its importance with the other two is the intelligibility characteristic of the auditory organs – the ability to recognize speech. There have been innumerable efforts in research labs all over the world to create implants that match the natural hearing pattern in all possible ways. But, all of those research activities found this factor to be hindrance to achieving that.
Apart from the hair cells – the primary factor for hearing capabilities, any damage to the neural sensors and nerve fibers could also affect the hearing capabilities. Such problems bring rise to dead regions in the hearing organs which are not sensitive to any amplification or noise reduction strategies and hence causing the failure of implants. Speech recognition and thereby the intelligibility of the humans are those areas which fail to get activated with an implant because of these issues. There are research activities going in these troublesome areas which when turning fruitful could do wonders in increasing the success rate of the implants.
(Niparko 2009) The aforementioned are factors that influence the success of cochlear implants. However, there are some disadvantages as well like undergoing surgery, which could result in various other infections and health hazards. The FDA has data that shows most children who underwent surgery suffered from acute meningitis post-surgery. They concluded that these recipients have 30 times more probability of acquiring meningitis as compared to normal children. The cost involved an implant is on the higher side which again not all can afford.
Physically adorning the device could be very fastidious and extra precautions are required for it to function properly. If in case the device malfunctions, then the only way to correct it would be to undergo another surgery, which is a high-risk factor. The device needs to be maintained well and updated frequently to ensure smooth functioning.
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