Cochlear Implants 3first direct stimulation to the auditory nerve, the nerve used to hear, was in 1950 by a scientistnamed Lundberg. Seven years later, two scientists named Djourno and Eyries implanted a singleelectrode which was attached to an induction coil into the head of a deaf individual. Thatindividual was able to hear sounds similar to that of a grasshopper or cricket but was also able torecognize very simple words such as mama and papa. This particular experiment inspiredscientists and medical professionals to continue working on a “cure” for deafness. In 1964, Dr.Blair Simmons successfully implanted the first multi-electrode device consisting of sixelectrodes and resulted in a patient able to recognize simple tunes. The quest for a curecontinued throughout the rest of the 20
century and in turn resulted in the state-of-the-artcochlear implants we have today.According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2006), many risks and benefits have been reported in regards to both surgery and post-surgical effects. While both communities maydisagree on what may be beneficial to their particular community, they are reported, nonetheless by this particular advocate of cochlear implant usage. They have stated that while someindividuals may exhibit near normal hearing, others may have no benefit whatsoever. Theycontinued to state that adults often begin to benefit immediately from the use of their cochlear implant and will continue to do so for about 3 months after the initial tuning sessions. After 3months, improvements begin to slow down but in some cases, improvements may occur for several years after implantation. Children, on the other hand, improve at a much slower rate andwill require “a lot of training to help the child use the new ‘hearing’ he or she now experiences.”The FDA (2006) reported that many individuals may understand speech without lip-reading, may be able to make telephone calls, enjoy music, and can even watch television more easily.