Hearing aids come in an array of shapes and styles, each one serving a specific purpose. They can be programmed to manipulate sound in different ways to suit the specific needs of each hearing aid wearer. So what happens when your type and degree of hearing loss cannot benefit from traditional hearing aids? That’s when your Louisville audiologist comes in.
Cochlear implants can help if you are profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. They consist of a device behind the ear that picks up and processes sound. Sound is sent to a transmitter that is surgically placed above the ear, which in turn sends signals to the auditory nerve.
Cochlear implants do not act in the same way as hearing aids; instead of amplifying sounds that cannot be heard by your damaged nerves, they bypass damaged parts of the ear and send the signal directly to the auditory nerve.
Cochlear implants do not restore hearing, but give those who are severely hard of hearing a representation of sound. People wearing these devices will need to get assistance and therapy to learn how to interpret and disseminate the sounds they receive. Contact your Louisville audiologist to learn if you are eligible for this implant.
Bone Anchored Hearing Aids
Bone anchored hearing aids, or BAHA, are another type of device that can help those who struggle with chronic ear infections, or have a very narrow ear canal.
The big difference between a BAHA and other hearing aids is that bone anchored devices transmit sound waves through bone conduction whereas other hearing aids do this through air conduction. BAHA is implanted into the bone of the skull and the sound signal bypasses the middle and outer ear, sending it straight to the cochlea.
As with any product there are always advantages and disadvantages to consider. Speak to your Louisville audiologist about getting bone anchored hearing aids and to see if they will be beneficial for you.
Hearing cannot be restored, but with technological advances there are amazing options that might just make life a little bit easier.