Cochlear implant program at ECU celebrates 10 years

Original article can be found at


“On Oct. 24, 12 cochlear implant recipients, their family and friends joined ECU speech and audiology faculty to commemorate the occasion. More than 80 adults have received implants and services since 1999 from the program’s team of specialists.”

“Cochlear implants are small, complex electronic devices that can help provide hearing to a person who has severe to profound hearing loss. The implants consist of an external portion that sits behind the ear and an internal portion surgeons place under the skin along with an electrode array that curls around the cochlea.”

“The reunion gave early recipients and new patients alike the opportunity to share their experiences of receivng a cochlear implant, as well as a time for patients, their family and faculty to reconnect.”

“‘People really don’t know what to expect,’ Rutledge said. ‘When you activate them, they can hear, but they’re not really processing or understanding speech. It takes time for the brain to adjust and retrain to sound or speech.'”

“Patients from a 41-county area come to ECU’s speech hearing and language outpatient clinic. ‘The reason we started the program is that we wanted patients to have access to the latest technology and clinical services in the region so they wouldn’t have to drive hours for service,’ Bengala said.”


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