Helping people hear better in Nashville, TN

Listen up, Music City; your hearing is about to take center stage!

Let’s start with the basics. You’re hearing is what drives your life, enlivens your relationships, keeps you in the loop and at the top of your game.

The quality and clarity of your hearing is essential to living your life to the fullest. If your hearing is suffering even just a little bit, if you’ve felt frustrated, isolated or left out because you can’t make out the conversation, Audiology Associates and Hearing Aids Today can change all that with a lifestyle solution just for you.

We’re here to help you understand your hearing loss, and help you take back the life you’ve been missing. You don’t have to miss another sound, the solution to your hearing problems is right around the corner.

Hear more – anywhere, anytime!


Want to be a part of the conversation again?

Dr. Jina Scherer has built a practice that is 100% focused on you – your family, your work and your life. The conversations that start in our office are about building relationships of trust, and finding solutions that inspire.

We know how hard it can be to struggle with hearing loss and feel like there’s nowhere to turn. Audiology Associates & Hearing Aids Today is dedicated to helping people hear better everyday. Our clients, friends and family in Nashville have come to trust us for exceptional care and service, and we take that trust very seriously.

Nearly 36 million Americans report some degree of hearing loss, and every one of them has a family, a job and a lifestyle that can also be significantly affected. That adds up to a lot of people suffering, losing hope and missing out on things when they don’t have to.

The comeback your hearing deserves, is here today!

  • Hear Better, Live BetterClick here to see how our Audiology Services can help you hear and live better.
  • Acoustic or Electric – Turn It Up! – Check out our full line of musician’s earplugs, tips to protect your hearing and prevent hearing loss. Click here to find out more.
  • A Tip of the Hat to TechnologyClick here to see just how far hearing aid and hearing assistance devices have come – We guarantee you’ll be surprised!
  • Testing, Testing – One, Two… – Already have a hearing aid? We can test any hearing aid you have and see that it’s delivering the best sound possible. Click here to set up an appointment today.

Your Ears…Only Better!

“I was a pretty good imitator of Roy Acuff, but then I found out they already had a Roy Acuff, so I started singin’ like myself.” – Hank Williams

Rediscovering your hearing is like finding your own voice, it will change your life overnight!

People come to Nashville to become a star; they stay because of the family they find here. Audiology Associates and Hearing Aids Today is part of that family, and the relationships we’re building everyday are far better than a single night on stage at the Grand Ole Opry.

When you struggle with hearing loss, your relationships suffer, your business suffers and your life is a little less than it could be. When the chips are down, the relationships in your life are more important than anything else; isn’t that what all those songs are really about?

Before we help people to hear better…We Listen! Our amazing staff of audiology and support professionals know what they’re listening for, so when you step into our office, you’ll know you’ve come to the right place.

It’s time you did something about your hearing loss, and we’re here to help!

  • Meet the TeamClick here to meet the best audiology professionals and support staff anywhere in Music City.
  • Contact Us – Nothing beats getting your questions answered face-to-face. Click here to get in touch and schedule an appointment today.
Natural, effortless listening pleasure…
Call today!
615-457-8600

Closed-Captioning Glasses allow people with hearing loss to enjoy the the movies!

The general population can head to the movies anytime they want without having to worry about their ability to interpret the films. However, this isn’t so easy for those with hearing losses.  Hearing impaired people can’t see movies in the theater because they aren’t equipped with closed captioning services so soon. That’s all about to change. A new technology in the form of closed captioning glasses is on the horizon. At this point, they’re only available at select movie theaters, giving people with hearing loss a way to enjoy the latest releases. We’ll explore why this change came about and why it’s so beneficial.

Where do I Find Them?

If you’re wondering where you can find these new glasses, you’re in luck. Regal Cinema theaters throughout the United States are rolling out the implementation of these glasses on a trial basis this summer. The testing phase may take some time, but it will take off at even more theaters depending on success. Depending on how well the glasses are received in the theaters, perhaps even more theatres will get in on the act.

A Bit About the Design

Access Glasses, the brain child of Randy Smith, chief administrative officer of Regal Cinemas, brought this technology to fruition as part of a joint partnership by Sony and Regal Cinemas. These closed-captioned glasses, with planned implementation at 6,000 screens by the end of this summer, have gone through rigorous testing programs to ensure the best success.

Comfort is Top-Notch

The close captioned glasses were designed with the optimum in comfort in mind. They feature a sleek design that looks just a little bit bigger than most models of regular glasses. They can fit right over your existing glasses, in fact. No matter how old you are, the shape of your face or your body size, you can used Access Glasses. They’re great for displaying captions in front of your face so you can read easily right along with the movie. The print is large enough to read so you can sit back and rest easy throughout the whole movie.

How they Operate

With several benefits for those with hearing loss, these special glasses are adjustable for the best brightness for your viewing pleasure. You can also easily adjust the glasses so you can see the film and captions in the best way possible from your vantage point. Early movie goers who used these glasses have said that the best vantage point is from the middle of the theatre.

When the movie has begun and you’ve positioned the glasses to your liking, signals will be sent to the sensors via a special data transmitter to either side of the glasses to interpret and display the captions. You’ll love the fact that the words seem to float about 10 feet in front of your eyes. This is perfect, making it so easy to read the captions and view the movie all at the same time.  For the perfect movie-going experience for the hearing impaired, this major development in technology is sure to make an impact.

Hearing Dogs – Assistance for hearing loss and the deaf

The popularity of seeing eye dogs is undisputed. However, now there’s a new dog on the block: the hearing dog. These types of dogs – usually Labradors and Golden Retrievers are best suited to this job — work in similar ways to seeing eye dogs in that they assist their owners in day-to-day living. The last decade has seen these types of dogs becoming more and more popular as companions for deaf or hearing-impaired people. Hearing dogs are able to be trained over the course of many months to help those suffering from hearing loss. Check out the training and benefits involved, as well as how you can go about procuring your own hearing dog.

How do Hearing Dogs Assist the Deaf?

These dogs must go through three weeks or so of intense training and care to ensure the proper fit between owner and dog. This is so the two parties can truly connect on the same level. After the training, hearing dogs have the skills to offer many helpful services to their deaf or hearing-impaired partners. How do they do this? They can pick up on sounds and then “tell” their owners. These sounds may signal danger, such as with a smoke alarm, or a situation that must be addressed, such as the timer on the oven or the doorbell. Dogs have the ability to further communicate other situations over time.

When you take the example of a fire truck wailing down a busy street, the owner’s hearing dog won’t necessarily alert his owner to this specific danger but will show him through his tensed body language that something is afoot. Over time, the dog will be able to detect and respond to additional sounds as they pertain to certain situations.

Requirements to Obtain Your Own Dog

You need to meet a few requirements in order to start the process. First off, only those 18 or older can have a hearing dog. Once you fill out the application to get started, your home will be assessed to ensure it can comfortably accommodate the dog. You should also know a close friend or family member who can go through the in-home training with you and the dog. Canine training and follow-up annually is necessary, to learn additional specialized training and tracking activities. In the end, you will find yourself in the company of a service dog who is truly there to work for you, providing a friend in the process.

Training Regimen: What’s Involved?

Specialized training courses have been created to help the hearing dog learn all the signals and prompts necessary to provide services for a hearing-impaired partner. This four- to six-month training regimen is intensive, but in the end, the hearing dog will adopt the correct temperament to be a good match for this type of job. Dogs are also trained to react to certain sounds and alert their owners in systematic ways. Additional situations will warrant additional alerts as dog and owner get to know each other further.

5 Unhealthy Habits That Can Cause Hearing Loss

It may surprise you, but the everyday habits you engage in, such as listening to loud music and even smoking, pose a threat to your hearing. Studies have shown that your body’s health is connected very closely with the health of your hearing. That means you may have to re-evaluate what habits you’re doing that could be damaging your ears. Usually, there’s a simple fix. Here we take a look at your bad habits that could have an adverse effect on your health. Be aware of these habits and learn what you can do to improve your hearing. The goal is to lessen your risk and exposure to hearing damage.

Sedentary Lifestyle

First off, leading a sedentary lifestyle in which you eat junk foods and fail to exercise every day can contribute to hearing loss. Obesity, a concerning epidemic in this country, has very serious health risks, not the least of which is diabetes. This disease is known for its ability to cause poor circulation in the body, putting you at a heightened risk for hearing loss. One way to combat this is to develop a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

Smoking

Your ears are suffering, too, when you smoke. It’s not just your lungs that can be affected by tobacco use. In fact, this bad habit definitely poses a very real threat to your hearing. Why? The chemicals in the cigarettes you use damage the vibration sensors in your ears, which makes it more difficult for your ears to pick up on small amounts of sounds.

Loud Noises

You’ve probably felt the ear-splitting effects of standing close to a speaker at a concert, right? Well, those loud noises can certainly contribute to long-term and temporary hearing loss. Steer clear of the sound systems at concerts to avoid this exposure to hearing damage. However, even something as simple as cranking the volume on the TV or your video game system can lead to hearing loss. All the power put out by these extremely loud noises can bring about significant temporary and long-term hearing loss.

Forgetting the Doctor Visits

When it comes to preventive maintenance, regular doctor visits are imperative. Don’t just go when you feel something is wrong, although this is a good reason to hit the doctors. However, you should go yearly to get your hearing tested for any underlying problems. Early detection is the key if you want to successfully treat or even reverse hearing damage. Your doctor is trained to evaluate you for any hearing losses that may have occurred since your last visit and suggest ways in which you can increase your healthy lifestyle and cut down on your hearing damage risk.

Listening to an MP3 Player

Perhaps the most damaging is blasting music through ear buds via your MP3 player, because the sound is so close to the nerves in your ear. You may enjoy turning on the latest tunes full blast to drown out background noise, but you’re doing a lot of damage, causing significant hearing damage over time. This is because you are directing lots of sound right at your inner ear where it cannot diffuse in the right way, subsequently leading to a loss in hearing.

Why Not to Buy a Hearing Aid Online

There are many ways to find convenient products and information on the internet. One of the best feelings for a person shopping at home or work is being able to place an order and have it turn up in the mail a few days later. While there are many conveniences offered by the internet, there are some drawbacks as well. One such drawback is the fact that people are using the net to diagnose and treat themselves for various medical problems such as hearing loss. Here we will examine the reasons why you should never buy a hearing aid online.

You Deserve A Doctor’s Care

The first reason that you should only get prescription hearing aids is that doctors can diagnose your hearing loss. It could be something that is as simple as impacted earwax, or something as complex as an infection. No matter the case, the doctor will be able to tell you if you need surgery, a small procedure, or whether you should have a hearing aid.

Custom Hearing Aids

Most hearing aids are specifically created to fit into the wearer’s ear so that they do not slip out at some point during the day. Another benefit offered by prescription hearing aids is the fact that they are comfortable enough to wear throughout the entire day. However, when you buy a hearing aid from the web, you will most likely find yourself with a product that does not stay in your ear or will become so uncomfortable that you will be counting the minutes until you can remove it.

Internet Can Mean Low Quality

There is no way for you to know what the quality of the ordered product will be until you have it in your hands. You could order a hearing aid that is made from poor quality plastic or is simply a sound amplifier in the guise of a hearing aid. The best way to avoid such low quality products is to buy one that is prescribed for you by a doctor. This will save you time, money, and frustration of getting a low-quality product.

Non-Specific Hearing Care

After you have been diagnosed by a doctor and show the need for a hearing aid, the next stop is to go to a hearing specialist so that they can discover the depths of your hearing loss. They will test you to see if you have a weakness in hearing pitch or other sounds before they integrate all of the information into your hearing aid. They will also fit you for your hearing aid so that you have a snug and comfortable fit. This is an advantage that is not extended to people who buy their hearing aids online. These are some of the most important reasons why you should never buy a hearing aid from an online store.

Common Sounds of Summer That Can Cause Hearing Loss

You never thought common summer sounds could hurt your hearing, but it’s true. From fireworks to concerts, hearing loss is a very real possibility. During the warm months when the kids are out of school, it’s fun to head to the beaches, parks and on vacation to get away from it all. Just be safe when it comes to exposing yourself and your kids to loud noises that can actually incur hearing loss. What do we mean? Check out some of the common summer outings that can be damaging to your hearing and how you can minimize that damage.

Fireworks

With hearing loss occurring at anything over 85 decibels, you can actually be doing a disservice to your ears when listening to fireworks, which can register 150 decibels and above. Fireworks are wonderful displays that are beloved by young and old, especially when it comes to celebrations like the 4th of July. Instead of sitting close to the staging area, sit further back away from the commotion to protect your ears and that of your kids.

Concerts

Rock concerts are notorious for being loud. In fact, the speakers and sound systems your favorite musicians produce can reach 115 decibels of noise, easily leading to damage of a young adult’s hearing. Permanent hearing damage is a very real possibility when exposed over many hours to loud music, so again, don’t sit too close to the action to reduce your chances of damaging your hearing.

Machine Noises

When you mow the lawn or operate a chain saw, you’re exposing yourself to 100 decibels and higher of noise. This is even true when you can hear the constant drone of machine noises throughout your neighborhood all day long. As a result, you can suffer from long-term damage to your hearing.

Sports Events

Sporting events such as baseball games and soccer matches can be loud in their own right when it comes to the crowd rooting for their team. However, the loudest sporting event is indeed racing. Live sporting events such as these can be thrilling, but they are extremely loud with each rev of the engine. Race cars are notorious for creating up to 115 decibels, which can bring on total temporary hearing loss and even long-term hearing injuries.

What Can Help

We all love summer. Who wouldn’t? You can still enjoy everything about this warm season without compromising your fun times, but it’s important to be selective in what you participate in and how you go about it.

First, don’t spend all day long at a loud rock concert. If you do, sit well away from the sound system. If you have to mow the lawn, do so in short spurts so you’re not listening to the constant drone of machinery all day. Secondly, take precautions when you have no choice but to be around loud noises for a prolonged period of time. This means you should have ear plugs or noise-canceling head phones on hand, which you can easily pick up at the store for affordable money. Do all you can this summer to avoid hearing loss.

How Hearing Loss can Lead to Brain Atrophy

There are more reasons than ever to begin doing more to protect your hearing as you begin to age. Of course, hearing at a regular level has many of its own benefits, but not there has been significant ties established between hearing and your overall health. There has been a higher level of speculation into whether or not the human brain can suffer additional damage as the individual begins losing their hearing. This article will examine the study that was recently completed and the conclusions that were made regarding this subject as well as ways to help protect your hearing into old age.

How To Protect Your Hearing

The very first way that you can go about protecting your hearing as you age is going to see a doctor. They will be able to establish a baseline level for your hearing so that they can see if there are any significant changes. Also, you will be able to report any sudden changes in your health and have a complete set of records to examine. For individuals who have hearing loss already, it is still important to see a doctor and check your hearing regularly. If there are any changes in hearing or brain function, a treatment can be outlined.

How Hearing Can Affect Your Brain

The study that brought all of this information to light was performed by Johns Hopkins University in conjunction with The National Institute on Aging. They gave a group of 126 individuals regularly scheduled MRIs as well as physical examinations. They found that there was a growing link between people who reported hearing loss and the size of their brains as found by the MRIs. The study revealed that there was a positive correlation between brain size and hearing loss.

Within the medical community, it is known that brain atrophy and shrinkage is one of the primary causes of dementia as well as a variety of other cognitive disorders. The researchers eventually examined their data and made the conclusion that individuals with hearing loss had premature brain atrophy and shrinkage. This left all of the patients at a greater risk for brain damage and disorders such as dementia.

The results of this study and the published findings were all able to be explained by current medical knowledge. When the brain suffers damage, like the type that is present from hearing loss, it begins to siphon nutrients, blood, and oxygen from other parts of the brain. This leads to other parts of the brain’s grey matter not receiving enough of these vital nutrients to thrive. This part of the brain atrophies and shrinks, leaving brain damage and cognitive impairment in its wake.

Mary S. says…

After years of denying my steady hearing loss, I finally, with a lot of encouragement from my family, decided to look into getting hearing aids. I was very hesitant. The people I knew that had them didn’t like them or would not even use them. Within 30 minutes of my visit, I had my hearing tested and was fitted with a pair of hearing aids. To my surprise, while standing outside after my fitting, I heard the birds sing for the first time in several years! Oh what a glorious sound! At age 77, I have regained my independence. I didn’t realize how a loss of hearing had isolated me from the world. I wake up looking forward to putting in my hearing aids in.

I encourage you to see Dr. Jina and let her make a difference in your life.

Ototoxicity – How antibiotics and analgesics use can lead to hearing loss

     With a higher emphasis recently regarding the consistent usage of medicine and its effects on the hearing of individuals, the pharmacological community is naturally curious about the long-term effects of medicines like antibiotics. This condition, detected in individuals who have ingested analgesics and antibiotics over a prolonged period of time, is referred to as ototoxicity. It’s also a subject of much concern in several trial studies conducted over the last few decades.

     One of the first studies with ototoxicity at the forefront was documented in 1986, involving a study of men and hearing loss pertaining to an increased reported and observed rate. A hearing baseline was created for a total of 26,917 men between 40 and 74, with results collection in 2010 (Curhan, Eavey, Shargorodsky, Curhan, 2010). This study was titled “Analgesic Use and the Risk of Hearing Loss in Men” and found a well-sourced link between Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen – both common analgesics — and hearing loss. The part causing hearing loss was determined to be binders from the medicine that attached to binding sites in the cochlea, which led to tinnitus or complete hearing loss. Researchers concluded at the end of the study that “Regular use of each analgesic was independently associated with an increased risk of hearing loss” (Curhan, Eavey, Shargorodsky, Curhan, 2010).  The outcomes of the original 26,917 male subjects addressed a total of 3,488 men who reported incidences of hearing loss throughout the study, many of them being under 50 years of age at the start of the study. It was deduced that exposure over the long haul to analgesics resulted in further cases of hearing loss (Curhan, Eavey, Shargorodsky, Curhan, 2010). The limits are obvious to this study, in that it doesn’t include any women, only men.

     To find out if they could replicate those results, the same researchers decided to undergo a similar study in “Analgesic Use and the Risk of Hearing Loss in Women.” Beginning in 1995 and following participants through 2009, this study brought on board females between the ages of 31 and 48, with results confirming an association between the use of analgesics and hearing loss in women (Curhan, Eavey, Shargorodsky, Curhan, 2012). The main difference between the two studies, though, was found to be an insufficient link between hearing loss and aspirin like there was with hearing loss and prolonged use of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. It’s been established, though, that these types of medicines can indeed cause hearing loss over the long term.

     With the study “Erythromycin ototoxicity: prospective assessment with serum concentrations and audiograms in a study of patients with pneumonia” researchers explored how ototoxicity related to long-term hearing loss and application of the antibiotic erythromycin, a common method by doctors to kill bacterial infections (Swanson, Sung, Fine, Orloff, Chu, Yu, 1992).

     The incurred use of the antibiotic over the course of two weeks was found to develop symptomatic ototoxicity in five out of 30 study participants, leading to degrees of tinnitus and hearing loss. The control group showed hearing loss in conjunction with the antibiotics. During the course of the study, researchers also noted that damage to the cochlea’s ion receptors was responsible for the limited hearing loss. (Swanson, Sung, Fine, Orloff, Chu, Yu, 1992). Although certain antibiotics were determined to be a factor in hearing loss, the symptoms did go away in the two weeks after the study was done. Other forms of antibiotics have been known to cause ototoxicity.

     Another article with results compiled in 2009, titled “Synergistic ototoxicity due to noise exposure and aminoglycoside antibiotics,” aimed to contrast the effects of acoustic trauma when aminoglycoside antibiotics were present and when they were not. (Hongzhe, Steyger, 2009). This connection linked the use of commonly used antibiotics with hearing loss and permanent mechanical damage. Researchers studied intensive care patients who were also given these antibiotics and who were exposed to mechanical hearing shifts by acoustic trauma. The goal was to consider the cause of auditory threshold shifts, which are indicative of hearing damage.

     Further testing showed the antibiotic alone could cause limited forms of hearing damage when study participants ingested them longer than six days. The threshold tended to shift just a slight amount when the antibiotic was used in conjunction than when compared with short-term acoustic trauma sufferers. Three different factors were examined that demonstrated the hearing loss and auditory shifts as a result of study conditions: “1) chemical penetration into the endolymphatic fluid of the scala media, 2) permeation of nonselective cation channels on the apical surface of hair cells, and 3) generation of toxic reactive oxygen species and interference with other cellular pathways” (Hongzhe, Steyger, 2009). In conclusion, aminoglycoside antibiotics caused limited ototoxicity and even aggravated acoustic injury damage (Hongzhe, Steyger, 2009).

     All of the above studies conclusively prove that antibiotics and analgesics can lead to varying degrees of hearing loss when taken consistently. However, hearing loss does indeed vary in people based on whether they are male or female and for how long they were on the medicine. Researchers have outlined the acute and chronic effects of these medications pertaining to hearing problems, reveling in the ability of the human body to recover in some cases from medication-induced hearing loss. Health supplements could very well be a subject of future ototoxicity studies.

References

Curhan, S. G., Eavey, R., Shargorodsky, J., & Curhan, G. C. (2010). Analgesic Use and the Risk     of Hearing Loss in Men. American Journal Of Medicine, 123(3), 231-237.     doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2009.08.006

Curhan, S. G., Shargorodsky, J., Eavey, R., & Curhan, G. C. (2012). Analgesic Use and the Risk     of Hearing Loss in Women. American Journal Of Epidemiology, 176(6), 544-554.

Hongzhe, L., & Steyger, P. S. (2009). Synergistic ototoxicity due to noise exposure and     aminoglycoside antibiotics. Noise & Health, 11(42), 26-32.

Swanson DJ, Sung RJ, Fine MJ, Orloff JJ, Chu SY, Yu VL. (1992). Erythromycin ototoxicity:     prospective assessment with serum concentrations and audiograms in a study of patients     with pneumonia. The American Journal of Medicine, 92(1),61-68.

Top 5 vacation Destinations for People with Hearing Loss

There aren’t as many limits placed on vacationing for those with hearing loss these days. It used to be so hard to think of places to go that are deaf friendly. Today, it’s just not so. In fact, it’s easier than ever to take off on an enjoyable vacation and know your disability will be accommodated. This is due to the increasing prevalence of travel guides around the world who are certified in sign language. Browse these top five vacation destinations ideal for those with hearing damage.

1. France

You have many tours to choose from that head right through France’s core. These include weeklong tours put on by individuals from the hearing-impaired community, ensuring you feel as comfortable as possible. France is pretty progressive when it comes to accommodating people with disabilities just like yours, so take advantage of the hospitality and make this beautiful country your next vacation spot. You’ll be directed to deaf-friendly hotels and enjoy travel resources for hearing impaired visitors.

2. New York City, New York

The Big Apple is a highly visited spot for hearing impaired people for a reason. Sure, the sights are majestic. But the travel guides who are dedicated to showing the must-see spots in this big city ensure you can comfortably navigate the streets, learn about landmarks and take in a show. In fact, head to Broadway for its unique deaf theatre and take in a performance.

3. Disney World, Florida

Travel guides abound here that can guide you through the parks easily thanks to their talents in a variety of languages, including sign language. You can comfortably take in the rich visual imagery on display here at Disney, even though you might have a hearing problem. You can enjoy the awesome rides and take in all the culture and entertainment knowing your guides have your best interests at heart.

4. Deaf-Friendly Cruises Around the World

Whether you’ve always wanted to see the Caribbean or Alaska, a cruise is the way to do it. You can even visit many places on one vacation as the cruise ship moves through an area. This is a superior option for people with hearing problems because several cruise lines cater to these types of disabilities. Cruise staff members cruises work hard to ensure your safety, entertainment and navigation while on board, resulting in a stress-free vacation. Meet other people, expand your group of contacts and make memories on a cruise.

5. Italy

The amazing historic structures, awe-inspiring landmarks, out-of-this-world culinary delights and quaint country side make Italy one of the top recommended spots for anyone, and even more so, those with hearing deficiencies. Thanks to the availability of hearing impaired assisted tours, you get the complete experience of each city and attraction you visit because your travel guides are skilled in sign language and other communication measures.

Bone Conduction Hearing Aid Technology – An Introduction

While still an ongoing topic of several studies, technology for this newest model of bone conduction implants is still being tested in clinical trials in those who have been fitted with anchored hearing aids. Not available for mainstream use for another year at least, this form of bone conduction hearing aid technology is the excited subject of many doctors and scientists looking to help those who have experienced middle ear trauma.

For decades, doctors and scientists have been looking for a device that provides the best quality of hearing for deaf or communication impaired people. Now that technology may be here, an especially useful tool for those with single-sided deafness. Although not a brand new technology by any means, bone conduction hearing aid technology is certainly an up and coming option with basis in proven studies and tests. It is thought to completely treat certain types of hearing loss, even those it’s been tested in limited instances to date. Here we explore the growing technology for this type of bone conduction hearing aid.

Acting basically as a replacement for the inner and middle ear areas — the place where most permanent hearing loss takes place — Bone Conduction Implants are different than most modern, permanent hearing aids. Called BCIs, these devices are comprised of three main portions that, instead of anchoring into the skull, they form an attachment to the skull, behind the ear yet under the skin. Far superior in many ways to traditional systems, BCI offers a lower infection rate with almost complete hearing benefits.

An implant made of titanium, a sound processor and an abutment mounted through the skin make up the entire device. A sound processor is designed to detect sound, send it to the ear canal and to the abutment, which then sends the sound to the brain passing right through the skull. The brain then processes the information and transforms it into sound. Single sided deafness sufferers can rejoice, as this is a perfect technology for them. Why? It directs sound around the unaffected ear instead of to the inner ear on the deafened side. Look for more information on this emerging technology in the coming months and years.