What Is Hearing Loss?
For both children and adults, hearing loss makes everyday communication and interaction difficult, often leading to a sense of isolation. The good news is that most types of hearing loss can be prevented or treated. It is important to know some facts about hearing loss. With modern hearing technology, you can regain your ability to listen, perform at work, communicate with family and friends, and enjoy everyday life.
Hearing Loss Treatment
Hearing loss treatment depends on the severity of the hearing loss. A person’s hearing can be improved through surgery or a hearing device. Most people tend to choose hearing devices because they are easier to incorporate into daily life. The most common hearing loss treatment options include:
- Hearing Aids
- Cochlear Implant
- Hybrid Cochlear Implant
- Bone Conduction Systems
How do Hearing Aids Work?
Hearing aids contain at least one microphone to pick up the sound, a computer chip that amplifies and processes sound, a speaker that sends the signal to your ear and a battery for power. When you come for your consultation at The ENT & Allergy Centers of Texas our audiologist will consider many factors and help guide you toward the best hearing aid style for you. For those with mild to severe hearing loss, hearing aids are usually the most common treatment option.
Cochlear Implant Program
The ENT & Allergy Centers of Texas is proud to offer the option of a cochlear implant for eligible patients. Dr. Cherie Booth, Neuro-otologist, is an expert in this field and welcome patients to our office who are interested. The Cochlear Implant Team is a group of hearing specialists who provide diagnostic, surgical and rehabilitation services in all areas of cochlear implantation. The group consists of neurotologic surgeons, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and psychologists.
What is a Cochlear Implant?
A cochlear implant has an external processor and then an internal processor which is surgically implanted. The surgically implanted device bypasses the damaged hair cells in the cochlea to stimulate the hearing nerve directly. The behind-the-ear (external) sound processor has tiny microphones that pick up the sound and convert it into digital signals. For those with moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears, receiving little or no benefit from hearing aids. Cochlear implants bypass damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulates the auditory nerve making sounds louder and clearer.
How Does The Cochlear Implant Work?
The implant is under the skin behind the ear and receives digital signals from the sound processor. These signals are sent to the auditory nerve and are interpreted as sound. The use of cochlear implants for the treatment of severe to profound hearing loss has had significant advancements since the initial implants placed by Dr. William House in the 1960s.
What Is A Hybrid Cochlear Implant?
Traditional hearing aids don’t always work for people with severe high frequency hearing loss. The answer is a hybrid cochlear implant. This type of implant uses the acoustic amplification of the hearing aid to improve low frequency hearing, and uses the electrical stimulation of the cochlear implant for higher frequency hearing. The hybrid cochlear implant is different from the cochlear implant in its design. The electrode array is much shorter in this implant so it doesn’t go as far into the inner ear.
Benefit Of A Hybrid Cochlear Implant
For people with relatively good hearing (mild hearing loss) in the lower frequencies with more significant (severe) hearing loss in the higher frequencies may be a candidate for a hybrid cochlear implant. This unique combination of two proven technologies — acoustic amplification and cochlear implant technology—in one device.
What Is Bone Conduction Hearing?
Everyone hears sounds through their bones and eardrums. The eardrum hears the sound and then converts the sound waves to vibrations. The vibrations are then sent to the cochlea also known as the inner ear. Although in bone conduction, vibrations can bypass your eardrums. Bone conduction hearing devices take over the role of your eardrums. The device transmits the sound waves into vibrations that can then be heard.
Bone Conduction Systems
For those with permanent conductive or mixed hearing loss and single-sided deafness may be candidates for a bone conduction system. These devices use your body’s natural ability to conduct sound. Once you have a hearing test and meet with the audiologist and neuro-otologist, we can guide you to the appropriate treatment for your specific hearing loss.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are experiencing hearing loss, call 972.984.1050 to schedule a consultation. At ENT & Allergy Centers of Texas one of our audiologists can determine the best treatment for you.