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.