Archive for Cochlear Implant

Open Letter to PHONAK – Maker of FM Systems for Cochlear Implants

grayPhonak Inc., USA
4520 Weaver Parkway
Warrenville , IL 60555-3927

Esteemed Product Engineer:

The following letter has been written by my 7-year old daughter, who is a user of your products.

Why did you make the shoe and the wire for the FM system that attaches to my Freedom the color gray? Does that make any sense? If it is for white people, then it should be beige. And if it is for black people, then it should be brown. But there are no gray people! Please write me back with an answer. Gray is such a silly color that looks so funny on me.

Yours truly,

Miriam, 7
Brooklyn, NY

P.S. I hope you change it soon.

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Hair Cell Regeneration – Myth or Reality

human ear diagramIn this month’s issue of Volta Voices, Dr. Stephen Epstein discusses the latest on the status of the fabled “hair cell regeneration” – which is the ability to restore hearing capabilities to the damaged hair cells of the inner ear. Many parents, when deciding if they should implant their child, worry that perhaps by implanting their child they are denying them the option of having their hearing restored naturally through this process.

According to Dr. Epstein, the most promising area of research is the controversial method of using stem cells to replace the destroyed tissue. Human stem cells would be most effective for this process, as they would have the greatest potential to produce normal hearing in humans. However, according to current federal regulations, human embryo stem cell research is prohibited. Therefore, research must be carried out on mice and then many tests must be conducted to see if the results are applicable to humans.

Many experts believe that even should a breakthrough be made in this field, it would take the Food and Drug Administration close to 10 years to approve the method for use in children. To wait that long and leave a child without the ability to hear would destroy the child’s ability to develop normal auditory and language skills. Therefore – the wisest choice would be to not be concerned with what future technology may bring, and jump and what is available today for your child.

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