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medtronic sophono

Just as questions abound about the body's unique and complicated nature, plenty of people wonder how those infamous protrusions on either side of the head can take in and process sound.

Answering Questions about Hearing and Technological Intervention

Few can truly argue against the many miracles of the human body. How can a strange, wet slab of tissue inside the mouth allow discernment of different tastes? How does the body take plant and animal tissue and transform it into the nutrients needed for survival? Some of those mysterious miracles happen to be studied in-depth by an ear nose throat doctor, but the sense of hearing could be considered one of the most fascinating.

The Extraordinary Ear

Just as questions abound about the body's unique and complicated nature, plenty of people wonder how those infamous protrusions on either side of the head can take in and process sound. Placed there by divine design, those formations gather potential sounds from the surrounding environment and funnel them into the ear canal. There, they make their way to a thin membrane and cause it to vibrate.

This sets the tiniest bones in the body into motion, and they eventually stimulate another membrane deeper inside the ear. In turn, it causes fluid and tiny hairs therein to move, eventually reaching the auditory nerve. This nerve sends those movements to the brain where they're translated into sound. In some cases, though, there's a disruption along the way.

 

When Something Goes Wrong

Any number of issues can lead to a lack of normal hearing, but science has sorted out many of these and found ways to compensate. First in a long line of advancements in this arena were hearing aids. These devices are placed in the ear to receive sound. From there, it's sent to a microphone and transformed into a digital signal to be sent to an amplifier and on through the ear to the brain.

Progress is Made

Bone-anchored hearing aids like the medtronic sophono also came into play. With these devices, an anchor is placed in the skull behind the deficient ear and a removable processor unit affixed on the outside of the head. When sounds are received, the processor essentially causes the bone to vibrate and sends this movement to the user's other ear while making it seem as though sound is coming from the damaged ear.

Further Breakthroughs

Those experiencing hearing loss also have advanced bionics at their disposal in the form of the cochlear implant. This technology combines the benefits of the traditional hearing aid with those of bone-anchored devices. Using a processor affixed behind the ear with damaged hearing, the system converts sound to digital form and transmits it to an implant in the inner ear where it's sent on to the auditory nerve and brain.

With all these developments to draw from, an unprecedented number of people are able to hear the world around them when they wouldn't be otherwise. Though many of the human body's inner workings remain a mystery, doctors have unraveled some of them and learned to use technological intervention to improve their functionality. No doubt, further advancements will come about as time goes on.