In some cases, a simple hearing aid may not be the solution for your unique situation or lifestyle. If that is the case, the professionals at Dr. Eimers Hearing Clinic are ready to discuss surgical and non-surgical hearing implants that can aid those living with profound hearing loss.
These neuro-prosthetic surgically implanted devices provide the sense of sound by stimulating the auditory nerve. Cochlear implants don’t “cure” hearing loss or restore hearing, but they bypass a patient’s damaged inner ear and allow the brain to process and interpret sound.
How does it work?
There are two parts to a cochlear implant, one internal and one external, each playing a key role:
- External sound processor: a microphone and speech processor are housed in a transmitter unit that looks like a behind-the-ear hearing aid.
- Internal: a receiver and electrodes are placed under the skin on the temporal bone. The receiver converts the transmitter’s signals into electrical pulses that are dispatched to the electrodes, which stimulate the auditory nerve. The brain interprets the signals as sound.
Can children use cochlear implants?
Yes! In fact, cochlear implants can expose children with hearing loss to sound during the critical period of early language acquisition and development, mitigating learning loss and developmental delays. Children of at least 12 months old who are living with hearing loss may be eligible for a cochlear implant.
Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA™)
BAHA™ treat conductive hearing loss or single-sided deafness. They are a great choice for patients who have severe ear malformations on one side, since they do work best for people who have one inner ear that operates normally. The BAHA™ transmits sound vibrations transmitted by bone conduction to the inner ear.
There are non-surgical options, but if you and your audiologist decide that an implant is the best choice for you, a specialist installs a titanium implant into the mastoid bone found behind your ear. The implant integrates with the bone over time.
How does it work?
There are two parts to a BAHA™, one internal and one external, each playing a key role:
- External sound processor: the bone-anchored external microphone and sound processor convert environmental sound to vibrations, which are transmitted to the embedded implant. Depending on your device, you may be able to remove the external part of the BAHA™.
- Internal: the titanium implant vibrates the surrounding bone and transmits sound waves into the inner ear, stimulates the hair cells and activates the auditory nerve.
Can children use a BAHA™?
Yes! They are easy to manage, and the non-surgical implantation is a simple process that can be performed in our hearing clinic.