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Happy Birthday to the Bionic Ear: A Cochlear Battery for your Cochlear Implant

by rayovac18, February 2013

This year marks the 30th year since a pioneering physician drastically changed the landscape for the hearing impaired. With the birth of the cochlear implant, thousands of people have rediscovered the colorful world of sound—a bird singing in the distance, the endearing voice of a grandchild, a companion telling a joke in a busy restaurant. Not surprisingly,  the cochlear battery necessary to power this “bionic ear” is a little marvel of its own.

 

Cochlear implants require a lot of energy to do their intricate work of transforming sounds into electrical energy. A hearing aid amplifies sound, but a cochlear implant relays it through wiring to the auditory nerve, a far more involved process. Just think of how many sounds enter the ear on any given day; a nearly constant stream of them. When powered on, the implant is constantly working to relay those sounds through an intricate design that bypasses the damaged portion of the ear’s anatomy. It may look a little like a watch battery, but a cochlear battery is in a whole other league. More...

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