Hearing loss caused by damage or disease in the outer or middle ears is called conductive hearing loss. In comparison, sensorineural hearing loss is caused when the bones and structures of the outer and middle ear are intact, but the cochlea (inner ear) or the auditory nerve has been damaged.
In recent years, several implantable hearing devices have been developed to address both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, particularly in patients for whom traditional hearing aids are an undesirable or ineffective option.
Implantable hearing devices can restore a patient’s ability to distinguish and interpret sounds and speech, ultimately having a profound impact on the patient’s quality of life. However, implantable hearing devices are not appropriate for every person with hearing loss, which is why NYOG’s Hearing & Balance specialists employ rigorous screening criteria to evaluate whether a patient should undergo surgery for an implantable device. It is important to note that implantable hearing devices require the patient to make a significant commitment with the support of her/his family and friends. After surgical implantation, some patients also receive auditory therapy to maximize their ability to use the device.
Implantable devices have greatly expanded the role of technology in hearing rehabilitation. Promising new devices being developed for FDA-approval in the near future may revolutionize the possibilities for hearing-impaired people.