If you are living with hearing loss that cannot be helped with regular hearing aids, your audiologist (hearing specialist) may recommend bone anchored hearing aid surgery. Bone anchored hearing systems help improve your hearing by conducting sounds through the bones in your skull. Not all individuals are eligible for this surgery, but it can be helpful for those with certain types of hearing loss.
Who Is Eligible for Bone Anchored Hearing Aid Surgery?
Bone anchored hearing aids can be a good option for children and adults who do not benefit from conventional hearing aids. Your audiologist will decide if you are eligible to get bone anchored hearing aid surgery.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, you may be eligible for bone anchored hearing aid surgery if your hearing loss is due to:
- Malformed outer or middle ear
- One-sided deafness
- Meniere's disease
- Sudden sensorineural hearing loss, or sudden deafness
- Chronic diseases of the middle ear
- Noncancerous ear tumors
How Does It Work?
A bone anchored hearing system uses bone conduction to transmit sounds. The device is made up of two parts:
- A sound processor placed outside the ear
- A metal implant in the skull bone behind the ear that is experiencing hearing loss
The sound processor picks up sound vibrations and sends them to the metal implant. The implant sends these vibrations through the bone directly into your inner ear, skipping the damaged ear parts. From your inner ear, the vibrations reach your brain, where they are processed into the sounds that you hear.
“The bone anchored hearing aid routes sound from the impaired ear, through the skull, to the opposite ear that has normal hearing. So sounds can be heard from both sides of the head,” Sreek Cherukuri, MD, clinical assistant professor at Indiana University School of Medicine, tells ishonest Connect to Care.
The surgery to insert the implant into the bone does not take much time. It is typically performed as an outpatient surgery, which means you can go home the same day of your surgery.
Hearing Loss Can Be Treated and Managed.
In many cases, hearing loss is a treatable condition. It is worth taking the time out to get the answers and treatment you or your loved one deserves. Don’t wait. Start today.