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Industrial deafness » Cochlear implants

Industrial deafness from a work-related accident is often considered to be a permanent disability, but cochlear implants can confound this notion of disability by assisting and improving hearing.

The implants involve electrodes inserted into the inner ear (the cochlea is an organ of the inner ear) and a sound-processing box is used to restore hearing.

People wearing the implant have a small microphone on a hook over their ear that picks up sounds and transmits to the processor, which looks like a Walkman-size box worn on the outside of the body.

Multichannel signals send sounds to the ear

The processor then translates sounds into multichannel signals and sends to a connector system behind the ear. The signals are sent to electrodes in the small cochlea, where they provoke nerve fibres that supply the brain with auditory information.

The implants work best for people who have lost hearing after hearing normally for some time and those with recent hearing loss.

Users of this device include adults with severe hearing loss defined as a 70 dB hearing loss or worse and aided speech understanding abilities 50 % or less on open set sentences. Adults well into their nineties have received cochlear implants.

Processing systems increase the clarity of what subjects hear, although its almost impossible for researchers to know just how sound quality has changed.

One patient trying a new portable prototype incorporating the latest laboratory sound processing schemes, Michael Pierschalla, re-encountered sound when he starting using a cochlear implant. I dont think my feet really touched the ground for the first couple of days, he said.

At first it was confusing. I had to take time to understand what I was listening to and was startled at the sound of my own voice. My first impression was, Theres so much to hear. Starting a car, washing dishes - everything that happens makes noise.

For more information on cochlear implants, visit the Advanced Bionics website at www.bionicear.com

Industrial deafness compensation claim

A lot of workplace environments in the UK are very noisy places. Impaired hearing and industrial deafness are commonplace and result from excessive exposure to loud noise over prolonged periods of time.

If this has happened to you, you could be in a position to make a deafness compensation claim. HappyClaim are the industrial deafness experts and our panel of no win, no fee solicitors have an excellent success rate.

To find out more, request a call from us at a time convenient to you or call us now on 01582 437070 and we will explain the claims process in language you can understand without legal jargon.