Hearing Devices to Improve Your Hearing A variety of hearing devices are available to improve your hearing. The device used will be dependent on your needs, the location of the dysfunction causing the impairment, and your personal preference. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but with ever-improving technology, a solution is right and ready for you. Hearing Aids Hearing aids are most commonly prescribed to people suffering with mild to severe loss. While normal hearing is not restored, many speech sounds are made audible and more easily understood. Aids are selective amplifiers, aiding the auditory system in sending more effective acoustic messages to the brain. Even with the use of aids, some patients with sensorineural loss may continue to have some difficulty with comprehension. Generally, two hearing aids are prescribed in the presence of bilateral (two-sided) loss. The benefits of wearing two instruments in this situation are enormous and highly recommended by hearing healthcare providers. Background noise issues are typically one of the largest problems for hearing aid users. While advances in technology have improved background noise and feedback processing, no aid can remove background noise from the equation. It is very important for impaired individuals to remember that background noise is a confounding factor for even normal hearing persons. With time, the perceived nuisance created by background noise should lessen. Multiple styles, designs, colors, and sizes of hearing aids are available to the general public. Digital instruments have allowed for smaller, sleeker aesthetics. Each style is designed to best fit specific types and degrees of loss. Your hearing healthcare professional will be able to help you determine what options are best for you! Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA) and Contralateral Routing of Sound (CROS) Hearing Aids Patients who suffer from single-sided deafness may benefit from variations of hearing aids - the CROS hearing instrument or the BAHA. Both devices contain a microphone that transmits sound from the "deaf" side to the ear with hearing. CROS aids are less invasive, and are worn over the ear or in the ear. BAHAs are not your typical hearing instrument. A BAHA is a surgically implanted titanium prosthetic embedded into the skull to conduct sound directly by the skull bones to the inner ear. An abutment visible through the skin connects to a sound processor which transmits the sound to the implant. The implant stimulates the inner ear allowing for improved hearing. These aids are for a very specific group of patients. Cochlear Implants Prescribed for people with profound hearing loss who do not or cannot benefit from hearing aids, the cochlear implant (CI) is an electronic device that directly stimulates the auditory nerve with electrical pulses that can be interpreted by the brain as sound. The device is made up of two main components: 1) an external sound processor, microphone and battery and 2) the surgically- implanted internal receiver with electrodes placed in the cochlea. Auditory Brainstem Implants The auditory brainstem implant (ABI) and more advanced penetrating auditory brainstem implant (PABI) are available to patients who suffer from neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). NF2 is a rare genetic disorder that may require severance or removal of the hearing nerve, bilaterally. These hearing devices are solely available to this subset of patients. For More Information, Call Us Today at (505) 629-0612 or Visit Our Website at http://ear-nose-throat-santa-fe-nm.com.
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