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Benefit of longer electrode array

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  • 3 months later...

I heard from my doctor saying that a longer electrode can help to acquire implantee to enjoy more range of high frequency...


a shorter electrode doesn't help much if the person is having a progressive hearing loss .


usually there is high possibility that any residual hearing will be lost after CI

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A longer electrode array goes deeper into the cochlea.  The high frequencies are at the entrance to the cochlea.  The low frequencies (bass tones) are at the deepest part of the cochlea.  So a longer electrode array provides the opportunity for more bass tones.

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  • 1 year later...

One of MedEl's competitors states that a longer electrode can damage the apex of the cochlear.  Another states that the hearing existing in the apex is beyond the range of hearing so is not necessary.  Has anyone got an educated opinion?


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Hi @Mary Elgab and welcome!


It’s important that our surgeons choose an electrode array that matches our unique cochlea.  Everyone’s cochleas are different lengths.  I actually have two different length electrode arrays (right and left) because the best electrode array for each side was different.  Electrode arrays are the reason I chose Med-El.  They offer a large range of electrode array options to match our unique cochleas.


You can see from Ivana’s pic above where different frequencies lie in our cochlea.  When you look at an audiogram report after being tested, you can see the frequencies that were tested.  They often range from 125 Hz to 8000 Hz.  So that range seems to be the most important range in listening for humans.  Compare that range to the pic of frequencies in our cochleas and you can see that having an electrode array extend further (in a safe way) into the cochlea is important.


One of the other brands has researched “phantom electrodes” trying to get the perception of actual electrodes deeper into the cochlea than their electrode arrays offer.  


It is so difficult to sort through all of the info between brands when choosing a brand.  Each company says their brand is best and the other brands lack features.  I was overwhelmed when having to choose brands.


I chose brands based on electrode arrays.  


Here are some some things I learned later on that are definite advantages of Med-El to me:

- Med-El makes future processors compatible with older internal components. (I have friends with other brands who can not upgrade to their brand’s newest processors because the new processors are incompatible with their internal components.  Since I plan on keeping my internal components for a long time, smile...it is reassuring that I will still be able to use Med-El’s newest processors in the future.)

- In the US, Med-El has five year warranties on upgrade kits.  (Both other brands at this time only offer 5 year warranties on initial kits connected to surgeries and offer 3 year warranties on upgrade kits.)

-Med-El has recently launched triphasic pulses in Maestro 7 (It is still rolling out so it has not yet been approved everywhere.). Triphasic pulses are helpful to people who experience facial stim issues with their CIs at appropriate loudness levels.  This is rather common for people with otosclerosis at some point.  I have otosclerosis so I am thankful that triphasic pulses will be an option if I need them in the future.


Whichever brand you choose, I wish you the best on your journey.  CIs are amazing!



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