You are probably confused about how a cochlear implant differs from an Esteem implant. Well, let me tell you that these two devices are not the same. Many might associate these state of the art implants as rivals in the field of medical technology so let me explain this further.
A person with difficulty in hearing has different reasons why this is so. Some may have problems with the anatomy of the middle ear while some may also have problems within the inner ear. Cochlear implants correct inner ear problems where the cochlea or the structures inside the cochlea fail to function. Esteem implants however corrects individuals with conduction hearing problems or middle ear problems.
How Cochlear Implants Work
People who have inner ear problems might not benefit much from using a hearing aid. The most important organ for hearing is the cochlea that converts sound waves into electrical impulses and sends it to the brain. When the cochlea or any structures inside it such as the hair cells or the nerves are damaged, transmission of electrical signals to the brain cannot happen. As a solution to this, cochlear implants were made. The cochlear implants will serve as an alternative to the damaged cochlea. After the sounds waves pass the middle ear, it will then be directed to the implant, by passing the damaged cochlea. The implant, now functioning as the cochlea will then be sending electrical impulses to the brain which can then be interpreted as sound.
How Esteem Hearing Implants Work
When structures of the middle ear are damaged, sound waves could not be relayed to the cochlea thus no electrical signals will be sent to the brain. The Esteem implant works as an alternate to the damaged middle ear structures. When sounds are perceived by the ear, it will by-pass the damaged structures and will pass through the implant and on to the functioning cochlea. Most individuals who can be recipients of the Esteem implant are experiencing moderate to severe deafness. This category of hearing loss may still be corrected with the use of a hearing aid, however, an esteem implant promises clearer sound.
Now that it’s clear, let me point out that these two implants address different degrees of hearing loss. Cochlear implants are for those who have severe to profound hearing loss while Esteem implants are for individuals having moderate to severe hearing loss. Ask your doctor.