Hearing Implants

A cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, A cochlear implant will electronically stimulate the inner ear and allow the brain to interpret this as sound. Cochlear implants help individuals who receive little to no benefit from hearing aids. When the hair cells in the inner ear are too damaged to receive clarity from hearing aids, cochlear implants are the next step toward happier hearing.

Benefits of Cochlear Implants

Benefits can vary for different individuals. This variation is often due to:

  • How long they have had hearing loss before receiving a cochlear implant

  • How severe their hearing loss is

  • The condition of their cochlea (inner ear)

  • How much practice they include in everyday life when using their cochlear implant system.

Cochlear implant companies include: Advanced Bionics, Cochlear, and MedEl. Big Sky Audiology works with Cochlear Corporation Cochlear Implants. 

Big Sky Audiology Clinic offers hearing implant evaluations to determine if you are a candidate. Schedule an appointment today. It could change your life!

hearing aid numerical chart

What is a Bone Anchored Hearing Device?

Bone anchored hearing devices (BAHA) are appropriate for individuals with a mild-moderate mixed or conductive hearing loss. 

A conductive hearing loss is a problem in the outer or middle ear that prevents sound from reaching the inner ear. Bone anchored hearing aids use the body’s natural ability to transfer sound through bone conduction. A bone anchored hearing aid is an alternative to a regular hearing aid for those with problems in their outer or middle ears.

A bone anchored hearing aid relies on a working cochlea to send sound to the brain. Bone anchored hearing aids offer amplification without having a device in the ear. They do not restore your hearing to normal but can make managing in everyday situations easier.

A bone anchored hearing system consists of three parts:

  1. A titanium implant that is positioned behind the ear in the bone.

  2. An abutment placed through the skin for the bone anchored hearing device to attach to.

  3. The bone anchored hearing device or sound processor that sits directly behind the ear.

How Does a Bone Anchored Hearing Device Work?

When the sound processor is attached, it picks up sound the same way a traditional hearing aid would, however, instead of sending the sound through the hearing device into the ear canal, it sends the sound signal through the bone by transforming it into sound vibrations.

Because of the titanium abutment, the sound vibrations are sent directly through bone which produces a clearer sound. When you click off the sound processor, for example when showering or sleeping, no sound vibrations are sent and your hearing will return to its original state.

Bone-anchored hearing aids are surgically placed by an Otologist, usually performed under local anesthetic.

Individuals who have hearing loss due to outer ear deformities or middle ear problems are good candidates for bone anchored hearing devices. These devices bypass any problems with the outer and middle ear and can offer clearer hearing. Bone-anchored hearing devices are also beneficial to some individuals with single-sided deafness.

hearing aid, how it works

Contact Big Sky Audiology Clinic at (406) 656-2003 for more information or to Schedule an Appointment

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