Implantable Hearing Devices
Implantable hearing devices are surgically implanted instruments designed to improve the hearing and communication abilities of individuals who are not candidates for traditional hearing aids. Different types of implantable hearing devices include cochlear implants and bone anchored hearing aids .
Types of Implantable Hearing Devices
Cochlear implants are devices that are surgically implanted under the skin, behind the ear and include electrodes that extend into the cochlea (inner ear). An external processor is worn on the ear, which transmits sound through the skin to the electrodes in the inner ear. Those electrodes stimulate the auditory nerve, which transmits sound directly to the brain for interpretation. Certain diagnostic criteria must be met in order to determine candidacy for a cochlear implant.
Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids are intended primarily for individuals with single-sided hearing loss due to problems in the middle or inner ear. Bone conduction hearing aids consist of a surgically implanted titanium abutment and a sound processor. They rely on the transmission of sound from the affected side by bone conduction to the functioning inner ear.
Candidacy for a cochlear implant and/or bone-anchored hearing aid is best determined by an audiologist.