Types of Implantable Hearing Devices

Osseointegrated Devices

Osseointegrated devices transmit sound directly into the inner ear.

Position: Surgically embedded on the outside of the skull behind the ear.
Functionality: The small titanium connector is anchored to the skull. The external processor is attached to this. The processor microphone picks up incoming sounds and transmits them through the connector to the inner ear. 

Bone Conduction Devices

Bone conduction devices increase the transmission of sound vibrations to the inner ear. 

Position: Prosthesis is attached to one of the middle ear bones.
Functionality: The prosthesis drives the sound through the bone into the inner ear (as opposed to directing sound into the ear canal.) The sound bypasses any functional problems in the ear canal and middle ear. 

Girl with hearing implant looking into telescope

When is an Implantable Hearing Device Needed?

In some cases, patients with sensory hearing loss cannot be fitted with conventional hearing aids. This may be due to incompatibilities or the following factors:

  • Chronic otitis externa (dry, thick skin that builds up within the inner ear)
  • Conductive or combined hearing impairment that cannot be treated with conventional surgical procedures
  • Still have hearing in one ear
  • External or middle ear cannot conduct sound properly

Based on studies of implantable hearing devices, over 85% of patients continue to benefit from implantable hearing devices long after they are placed. 

Types of Implantable Hearing Devices

BAHA

This device uses direct sound conduction to amplify hearing. A titanium fixture is implanted into the skull to conduct the sound from the sound processor through the bone and into the inner ear. BAHA doesn’t require sound to be transmitted through the skin before it is transmitted into the bone. This system is able to bypass functional problems within the ear canal and the middle ear structures.

Osia

Like the BAHA device, Osia uses direct sound conduction to amplify hearing. This device helps to address conductive, mixed hearing loss, and deafness on one side. Osia uses a titanium fixture implanted into the skull. This fixture bypasses the ear canal and middle ear structures and conducts sound through the bone to the inner ear. The external processor is attached to the scalp, communicating electromagnetically to the internal device. When not in use, the external processor can be taken off, showing no visible implant coming through the skin.

Maxum

The Maxum Middle Ear Implant is for patients who are experiencing severe hearing loss on both sides of the head. This device moves the hearing bones of the middle ear magnetically to improve hearing function. The magnet is surgically implanted. An external ear canal processor processes incoming sound and moves the middle ear magnet to amplify hearing.

Because a hearing aid moves the eardrum with sound signals, it is prone to feedback. The Maxum Middle Ear Implant doesn’t cause feedback and can deliver much louder sound.

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Dr consulting a patient, taking notes on a clipboard

Why Choose The Barranco Clinic for an Implantable Hearing Device?

At The Barranco Clinic, our goal is to help patients achieve better hearing, lasting relief and general ENT wellness in an understanding, professional environment. The Barranco Clinic provides advanced surgical procedures, hearing devices and all that is included in the complete range of ENT services, helping patients across Central Florida for more than 50 years. We offer a board-certified, talented, dedicated team who are passionate about patient care and about restoring hearing. Call today to find out more about an implantable hearing device at The Barranco Clinic.

With 5 convenient locations around the Orlando area, we're never far away.

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