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Cochlear Implants

Introduction

The deaf or people who have severe ear damages have difficulties sensing sounds. For this reason, the medical researchers have carried out different studies to establish solutions to heal this impairment. One of the solutions is the use of cochlear implants. Cochlear implants are surgically implanted devices to people with hearing impairment to improve their sound senses. However, certain scholars argue that cochlear implants have health and non-health risks that may affect the patient. This is where they argue that cochlear implants have health risks that can be detrimental to the patient. Therefore, current paper tries to analyze the different health risks and non-health risks that have been raised by the medical scholars.

Discussion

The first risk is the risk infections to those patients who have cochlear implants. Meningitis is a rear infection that occurs on the lining of the brain surface (Food and Drug Administration, 2010). Patients who have cochlear implants have a risk of contracting meningitis. According to a study done by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, children with cochlear implants were at risk of contracting bacterial meningitis. The research indicated that after twelve months since implantation of the cochlear, many children were contracting bacterial meningitis (Hitti, 2006). In addition, scientist found that even after two years since the cochlear was implanted to the patient, they were still contracting meningitis.

The other infection that patients with cochlear implants risk of contracting is skin infection. Doctors have discovered that people with cochlear implants often have skin infections causing redness in the magnet areas (Food and Drug Administration, 2010). Additionally, there are infections in the flaps. Doctors say that the cochlear implants tend to pull the ear flaps, resulting in skin infections (Food and Drug Aministration, 2010). All this infection may not be as lethal as meningitis but they pose a health risk. For this reason, many doctors argue that cochlear implants might cause skin infections, irrespective of how safe they are done to a patient.

Another health risk that is caused by cochlear implants is the failure to use some medical examinations. According to research by FDA, the cochlear implants apply electromagnetism in order for them to work. Therefore, the doctors state that it could be extremely risky for patients who need to take some medical tests, such as MRI imaging and those tests that require the use of electricity and electromagnetism (Food and Drug Administration, 2010). The doctors argue that the cochlear implants will be affected, making them damaged. Although it is not clear to the FDA whether these may cause health risks, the doctors state that it is not worthy to test on a person. For this reason, patients with cochlear implants may fail to acquire full medical attention.

The other risk caused by cochlear implants is the injury to the facial nerve. This nerve usually passes through the middle year for purposes of providing facial movements (Food and Drug Administration, 2010). In this case, the nerve is usually near to where the doctors surgically implant the cochlear implants. Therefore, during implantation of the cochlear, the facial nerve is at risk of being injured. Studies indicate that in case of injury of this nerve, during implantation of the cochlear, it can cause temporary or permanent weakening or full paralysis of the same side as the cochlear implants (Food and Drug Administration, 2010).

Another health risk caused by the implantation of a cochlear implant is injury or disturbances to the tastes. Similar to the facial nerve, the nerve that provides the taste sensational in a person also passes through the middle ear, where doctors surgically implant the cochlear implants (Food and Drug Administration, 2010). This means that these neerves are at risk of being injured. In case of injuries, doctors argue that it causes taste disturbances. Therefore, it is clear that all nerves that pass through the middle ear are at risk of becoming injured during the surgical implantation of the cochlear.

The other health risk is the leakage of the cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid is usually found in the brain. Doctors argue that this fluid may leak through holes in the ear or holes in the brain coverage (Food and Drug Administration, 2010). In this case, the doctors say that this fluid leakage can be extremely detrimental, causing brain damage. According to the health risk of cochlear implants, they can either be caused during surgery or after the surgery.

On the other hand, there are certain non-health risks or challenges that may affect patients with cochlear implants. The first challenge is a change in the lifestyle of a person with the cochlear implants. This is where the cochlear implant may tend to interact in an electromagnetic environment (Food and Drug Administration, 2010). For instance, patients with cochlear implants may have difficulties in using cellular phones. Additionally, patients may have difficulties in flying due to the cochlear implants. In case of the cochlear implants’ interaction with any electromagnetic equipment, it can be detrimental to the patient. As a result, he or she will have to change his or her lifestyle.

The second non health challenge of the cochlear implant is that they may become expensive in the long run. When a cochlear implant is surgically implanted on a patient, there are instances where it may fail to work. As a result, the patient may never use it again (Food and Drug Administration, 2010). Additionally, when a cochlear implant interacts with electromagnetism, it may become destroyed. This will lead to the patient changing the cochlear. It may be extremely expensive for patients with cochlear implants in the long run since finding the same one might be a challenge.

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