Essay on Are Cochlear Implants a Threat to the Deaf Community?

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The sound of your parents voice, hearing your favorite song playing on the radio, even knowing the sound of your own voice, these are just a few sounds that sadly many of us take for granted, and unfortunately many will never get to experience. Hearing loss affects about 10% of the Global population, with 124.2 million people affected from a moderate level to a severe disability. (WHO 2008)
Deafness can be the result of many different causes such as otitis media (middle ear infections), hereditary disorders, genetic mutations at birth, prenatal exposure to certain diseases such as meningitis, and trauma to the eardrum or auditory nerves. (Better Health Channel, 2013)
While not a cure to deafness, the invention of cochlear implants
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The middle ear has three ossicles (tiny bones) the hammer, the anvil, and the stirrup that connect the middle ear to the inner ear. When sound enters your middle ear, it causes the ossicles to vibrate. These vibrations then move into the cochlea, which is filled with fluid. When the vibrations move the fluid that is in the cochlea, it stimulates tiny hair cells that respond to different frequencies of sound. After the tiny hair cells are stimulated, they direct the frequencies of sound into the auditory nerve, as nerve impulses. (ASHA 2013) Cochlear implants consists of three external parts: a microphone, a speech processor, and a transmitter. The internal parts include: a receiver and stimulator and an array of up to 22 electrodes, depending on how much amplification is needed. Cochlear implants work by bypassing all the damaged parts of the ear to directly stimulate the tiny hair cells on the cochlea that direct sound frequencies to the auditory nerve. (ASHA 2013)
Opposing Arguments Those that oppose cochlear implants argue mostly from a minority standpoint. The deaf community feels that as the minority, the hearing majority is threatening their way of life. “The deaf community is a culture. They’re much like the culture of the Hispanic community, for example, where parents who are Hispanics, or shall we say deaf, would naturally want to retain their family ties by their common language, their primary language, which is