The Cochlear Implant The cochlear implant is possibly one of the greatest inventions designed to benefit the deaf community. Cochlear implant is a device implanted internally behind a deaf persons ear with an external microphone, and is designed to provide artificial sounds to people who have nerve deafness in both ears and show no ability to understand speech through hearing aids. Since the development of the cochlear implant in the 1960's, more than 10, 000 people worldwide have been implanted with this device. Although this may seem like the perfect device to aid deafness, a lot of controversy still exists about the cochlear implant.

There are many advantages and disadvantages about the implant. I will start by discussing the advantages. The cochlear implant has allowed many deaf people to live out 'hearing lives'. During the 1960's, more primitive implants allowed for partial hearing, the percentage of words that could be understood without lip reading was about 12%, But with modern technology, that number has risen to about 80%, making conversations with a deaf person and a hearing person possible through speech without the use of sign language. Deaf people who have experienced hearing and language skills previously, benefit much more from the implant because they do not have to learn new sounds or words. Although the cochlear implant can benefit deaf people greatly, there are still many disadvantages.

Of the 15 million people in the U. S. with significant hearing loss. Less than 1%are potential candidates the the cochlear implant. There is no standardized criteria for accepting or rejecting a candidate, but they often need to meet audiological, medical, and psychological criteria. As with all surgeries, there is some degree of risk, but because of the anatomical location being so close to the brain, these risks are much greater.

Eventhough the cochlear implant may be suitable for more deaf people, there is one factor that prohibits them from: Price. Each cochlear implant costs over $25, 000 and comes with no guarantees. In conclusion, the cochlear implant has given many deaf people the priceless gift of hearing, but this may not be for everyone. Some deaf people may not be ready for this implant because it will change their life drastically, they may not be ready to go from the deaf world to the hearing world.