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Technical devices for hearing-impaired individuals: cochlear implants and brain stem implants: developments of the last decade

Author(s): Müller, Joachim

Journal: GMS Current Topics in Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery
ISSN 1865-1011

Volume: 4;
Start page: Doc04;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: cochlear implant | indications | cochlear implant in children | surgical technique | speech understanding | electrode carrier | deep electrode insertion | binaural hearing | bilateral cochlear implantation

Over the past two decades, the fascinating possibilities of cochlear implants for congenitally deaf or deafened children and adults developed tremendously and created a rapidly developing interdisciplinary research field. The main advancements of cochlear implantation in the past decade are marked by significant improvement of hearing and speech understanding in CI users. These improvements are attributed to the enhancement of speech coding strategies. The Implantation of more (and increasingly younger) children as well as the possibilities of the restoration of binaural hearing abilities with cochlear implants reflect the high standards reached by this development. Despite this progress, modern cochlear implants do not yet enable normal speech understanding, not even for the best patients. In particular speech understanding in noise remains problematic. Until the mid 1990ies research concentrated on unilateral implantation. Remarkable and effective improvements have been made with bilateral implantation since 1996. Nowadays an increasing numbers of patients enjoy these benefits.
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