Some folks are embarrassed to be caught wearing a hearing aid, as their pride dictates that they are not supposed to be hard of hearing at that particular age. Well, I say that it should not matter – so what if you are wearing a hearing aid? Is it anything to be ashamed of? You might as well not get caught using a walking stick or wearing a pair of dentures then if the ego is so huge. Anyways, I digress. For folks who feel that they prefer to keep their diminishing hearing abilities secret from the rest of the world, here is a little bit of good news. Researchers from the University of Utah have managed to come up wtih a key component of the cochlear implant which might eventually result in a middle ear microphone that is far more efficient to develop a smaller hearing aid.
This middle ear microphone might see action in (where else) the middle ear, where it relies on accelerometer technology instead of a membrane to detect sound. Basically, it will need to be attached to the umbo (eardrum) in order to pick up the necessary vibrations, which subsequently are then converted to electrical signals and are returned straight to electrodes in the cochlea. If you were to wear this cochlear implant, it would be so invisible to the naked eye, that all one can see would be the wireless battery charger that is worn while sleeping.
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