Technology and Medicine Essay

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We are all different in one way or another. Some individuals are born lacking some level of function or complete inactivity of certain parts of the body. However, technology has managed to provide the partial or total solution to some of these inabilities. This paper will discuss some of the medical procedures and devices developed to help people with loss of vision and hearing ability.

Hearing loss or deafness is a condition where the inner ear is damaged resulting to partial or permanent inability to hear sound. Deafness may occur from birth or from causes such as an injury disease, age-related issues, excessive noise exposure and congenital defect. However, technology has enabled the creation of electric devices that aim at correcting loss of hearing.

Hearing aids are the most popular hearing enhancement tool that simply amplifies sound. This gadget is aimed at correcting hearing problems that relate to reduced sensitivity to sound such as sensorineural hearing loss. It should be noted that the hearing aid does not correct hearing loss but only makes sound louder. A hearing aid has three essential parts: a speaker, amplifier and microphone. Sound first makes contact with the microphone, where the sound waves are converted to electrical signals. The electrical signals are then sent to the amplifier where the signal’s power is increased. After amplification of the electrical signals, the signals are then sent to the speaker. From the speaker, the signals are sent to the ear for decoding.

Individuals that may most benefit from the use of a hearing aid are those that have minor damage to the inner ear. More so, the people whose sensory cells called hair cells, located in the inner ear, have been damaged. The hair cells are responsible for detecting vibrations and converting them into neural signals that are sent to the brain. The amplification triggered by the hearing aid helps to ensure that the signals get to the surviving hair cells for conversion (Hearnet, 2017). However, severe damage to the inner ear is not resolved by the hearing aid.

In the event where hearing aids render useless, a cochlear implant is a qualified alternative. A cochlear implant is an auditory prosthesis that is surgically implanted to provide a sense of sound to an individual with severe hearing loss. This auditory enhancement tool is considered for the following conditions: when the hearing aid is not offering any results and when the patient has profound hearing loss or nerve deafness (Hearing, 2017). A cochlear implant has five parts: microphones, speech processor, transmitter, receiver and an electrode array. Sound is captured by microphones located on the body. The sound is then selectively filtered to formulate audible speech in the speech processor. Moreover, the sound signals are transmitted across the skin by the transmitter using radio frequency transmission. The receiver or the stimulator receives the sent signals and converts them into electric signals. Finally, the electrode array that is inside the cochlea is used to send the electric signals directly to the auditory nerve. Therefore, the technology behind cochlear implant is aimed at bypassing the regular auditory process.

In spite of the obvious benefits of the cochlear implant, there are severe risks that are accompanied by the surgery. Firstly, the surgical procedure itself faces many risks such as meningitis, infection, tinnitus and injury of facial nerves (NIDCD, 2018). More so, there are unprecedented complications that may occur in the short or long term from the minor surgery. Furthermore, there are possible limitations that may arise from the cochlear implant use. For instance, one may lose hearing ability completely, sounds may be heard differently and inability to keep up with the high maintenance and replacement costs.

Cataracts are the cause of almost half of blindness and visual impairment in the world. A cataract is a foggy or cloudy build up on the eye lens that results to diminished sight. Some causes of cataracts include: exposure to radiation, degrade of eye lens proteins due to aging, reaction to medication and skin diseases. However, technology has provided a permanent remedy for cataracts. The treatment is called the cataract surgery, where the clouded lens is replaced with an artificial lens. The newly installed lens is called an intraocular lens which remains as a permanent component of your eye. The surgical procedure is around 15 minutes and is performed in the outpatient section of the hospital. The results from cataract surgery have been successful with over 90% of the patients recovering fully. Moreover, the intraocular lens has other benefits aside from clear vision. The newly installed lens has the ability to correct acute short-sightedness and long-sightedness (NEI, 2015). Although the sight may not be fully corrected, many of the patients who have undergone the procedure admit to a significant improvement in sight. However, the procedure contains unforeseen complications such as infections and retinal detachment.

Technology has granted a second chance to individuals that had previously lost their hearing or vision. Unlike the olden days where there was no remedy but to learn to adapt, today we have a variety of medical devices and procedures to try out. In the case of impaired auditory sense, a hearing aid for moderate inner ear damage and a cochlear implant for profound deafness. Moreover, in the case of blindness caused by cataracts, a cataract surgery is the best bet for cure.


NIDCD,. 2018. Cochlear Implants. National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Available at: [Accessed May 31, 2018].

NEI, .2015, Facts About Cataract. Retrieved from

[Accessed May 31, 2018].

Hearnet,.2017, Hearing aids and cochlear implants. Retrieved from

[Accessed May 31, 2018].

Healthy Hearing,. 2017 ,What is the Difference Between Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants? Retrieved from

[Accessed May 31, 2018].

August 04, 2023




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