If you are hearing impaired, you may have heard the buzz about bone conduction hearing aid technology, which is revolutionizing the industry. On the hunt for a better quality of hearing? You may be able to take advantage of a growing technology that’s hardly brand new but that hasn’t yet been made available to the general public thanks to continued studies and trials. Those who are deaf or communication impaired can benefit from bone conduction hearing aid technology which can successfully treat many types of hearing loss.
BCIs – also known as Bone Conduction Implants – have three main parts: a sound processor, titanium implant, and an abutment. This abutment is mounted through the skin to the skull directly behind the ear. The processor picks up and directs sound as many traditional aids do but with a twist. Instead of sending sound to the ear canal, the abutment is what receives the signal, thereby bypassing the damaged parts of the middle ear and going straight to the brain for immediate processing. This is exciting news especially for individuals with single-sided deafness. Why? It sends sounds – not to the inner part of the deafened ear which is what is usually found in permanent hearing aids – but rather to the unaffected ear for increased efficiency.
BCIs are revolutionary because they essentially replace the damaged inner and middle ear areas –where most permanent hearing loss occurs — to provide a solution. Instead of anchoring directly to the skull, BCIs are installed at the skull bone under the skin right beneath the ear, featuring a lower infection risk than traditional permanent hearing aids. The implantation method, along with the location, makes for a more ideal operation.
Although still being analyzed and tested at universities and labs, this newest model of bone conduction implants is expected to become available in the next year and beyond, even though thousands of individuals have enjoyed anchored hearing aids, thereby streamlining the process of clinical trials. Doctors and scientists are incredibly optimistic about this advanced technology designed to help treat hearing loss in individuals with middle ear trauma.