Man Proposes To Girlfriend After She Gets Cochlear Implants

Getting cochlear implants is often an emotional experience for patients. The devices allow deaf individuals to hear, sometimes for the very first time in their lives. Andrea Diaz, a patient of UMMC ENT and Communicative Services, had her implants turned on for the first time by Dr. Vicki Gonzalez.

Joining Diaz was her mother and boyfriend, Kevin. Watch what he tells her soon after she begins hearing for the first time:

The Science of Cochlear Implants

According to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), a cochlear implant “is a small, complex electronic device that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing.”

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They continue:

“The implant consists of an external portion that sits behind the ear and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin.”

So how do these implants differ from hearing aids? NIDCD again:

“A cochlear implant is very different from a hearing aid. Hearing aids amplify sounds so they may be detected by damaged ears. Cochlear implants bypass damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. Signals generated by the implant are sent by way of the auditory nerve to the brain, which recognizes the signals as sound. Hearing through a cochlear implant is different from normal hearing and takes time to learn or relearn. However, it allows many people to recognize warning signals, understand other sounds in the environment, and enjoy a conversation in person or by telephone.”

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