What is a cochlear implant, and how do they help Islander Tasha Ghouri with day-to-day life?
Over the last month, we’ve seen a 158% increase in Google searches for cochlear implants.
Searches have increased since Love Island’s Tasha Ghouri made history as the show’s first deaf contestant. The dancer was also the first ASOS model to be pictured wearing a cochlear implant – but how does the device actually work?
Tasha’s confidence isn’t hindered by her “superpower”, and the star is incredibly proud of her movements to raise awareness in the modeling industry. The Islander wrote on Instagram: “no matter what disability you’ve got. you can do it.”
There’s also been a lot of love and support from the deaf community watching Tasha’s villa journey, with some wishing the producers would allow more awareness around the topic.
Tasha took to Instagram to explain her ‘superpower’: “I have a sensory loss, which means the small hairs in the cochlear were missing and damaged when I was born.”
“When the outer piece of my device is taken off I cannot hear anything. I feel beats and vibrations. People sound a little robotic but my brain has adapted to it and I also rely on lip reading and body language,” she added.
In order to offer insight on how exactly her cochlear implants allow her to hear and how they differ from other forms of hearing devices, Katie Ogden, Audiologist and Training Manager of leading hearing aid brand, ReSound, explains the impressive technology and modern advancements that allow those with all different types of impaired hearing and deafness to gain a better quality of life.
“For those unfamiliar with hearing loss, it is a common misconception that cochlear implants are just another form of a hearing aid, when in fact they each have different purposes and are suitable for different individuals based on their specific diagnosis.
“Implants stimulate the auditory nerve in order to create the sensation of sound for those classed as deaf (such as Tasha).
“A common assumption is that cochlear implants restore hearing in deaf individuals, but this is not true. There are two parts of the implant, the external element features a microphone, a speech processor, and a transmitter, while the internal element features a receiver and an electrode tray that is implanted within the inner ear.
“Each of these elements is connected through the use of a strong magnet, and sounds collected from the mic and processor are sent to the receiver, which in turn converts them to electrical pulses, which stimulate the auditory nerve and signals the brain to process the sound.
If you believe a cochlear implant could improve your quality of life, be sure to seek the advice of a hearing care professional to discuss your needs.