Hearing Implants for Middle Ear Hearing Loss
If you have mild-moderate mixed or conductive hearing loss or sensorineural hearing loss a middle ear implant could be the perfect solution. They are a more recent innovation in hearing implants, offering an alternative to conventional hearing implants in the cochlear or typical hearing aids. It may be considered for those who suffer from earmould allergies, skin problems in their ears, outer ear infections, narrow, collapsed or closed ear canals, or malformed ears.
It can also provide (for mixed or conductive hearing losses) an alternative to a bone conduction implant for those with any of the above ear problems who also have healing issues, dexterity problems, or those who might find difficulty in keeping a bone-anchored hearing aid clean.
How does a middle ear implant work?
A middle ear implant has two parts: an external part (the ‘processor’) and the surgically implanted internal part. The processor transmits sound to the internal part of the hearing implant. This consists of a receiver just below the skin to pick up the sound from the processor, together with the middle ear implant, which is attached to one of the bones in the middle ear or attached near to the membrane window of the cochlea. The implant works by directly moving the bones of the middle ear, or by vibrating the membrane window of the cochlear.
In either case, it is designed to amplify sounds by adding extra movement into the natural hearing pathway. The middle ear implant relies on a working cochlea and hearing nerve.
Who can be considered for a middle ear implant?
A middle ear implant may be considered when a conventional hearing aid cannot be worn or does not give an effective benefit.
What can I expect from a middle ear implant?
Middle ear implants offer amplification without an ear mould in the ear. This makes them more comfortable if you experience discomfort or infections in your ear. They do not completely restore hearing but can make managing in everyday situations easier.