Traditional behind-the-ear hearing aids aren’t always the best option to restore hearing loss. Bone-anchored hearing aids are a comfortable and discreet option to restore hearing in patients who suffer from hearing loss caused by problems with the middle ear or ear canal. To find out if bone-anchored hearing aids are right for you, book an appointment with one of the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) experts at West Shore ENT & Allergy by phone or online today. The practice operates out of five convenient offices in Norton Shores, Grand Haven, Fremont, Ludington, and Muskegon, Michigan.
Bone-anchored hearing aids are a surgically implanted solution to conductive and complete hearing loss. They rely on the body’s natural ability to transfer sound through bone, allowing sound to be directly transmitted to the inner ear.
Bone-anchored hearing aids are made of two main parts: the implant and the device. Bone-anchored hearing aids require a brief surgical procedure to place the implant.
The reasons doctors and patients choose bone-anchored hearing aids include:
Bone-anchored hearing aids allow you to avoid many of the risks and discomfort of traditional behind-the-ear hearing aids. Bone-anchored hearing aids are programmed externally, allowing the device to be customized to your exact needs.
Bone-anchored hearing aids are used in a number of ways. You could be a suitable candidate for bone-anchored hearing aids if you fit one or more of the following:
Patients who suffer from congenital and chronic ear problems often experience persistent drainage from their ears. This means traditional hearing aids that cover the ear canal can increase the chances of infection and worsen their condition. Bone-anchored hearing aids restore hearing without blocking the ear canal.
Bone-anchored hearing aids are ideal for patients with at least one functioning inner ear. Patients with single-sided deafness who choose bone-anchored hearing aids benefit from the comfort, safety, and discretion of the device.
Bone-anchored hearing aides are suitable for patients with a variety of external ear canal issues. Conditions like eczema and psoriasis can worsen from the irritation of a traditional hearing aid.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids aren’t always an option for patients with ear malformations, deformities, or injuries. Bone-anchored hearing aids restore hearing without relying on the external ear for support.
The placement of your implant can be done under either general or local anesthesia. Your doctor will help you make the right choice for you.
Your doctor begins the procedure by making a small incision behind the ear. They then insert a titanium implant into the bone.
The implant is either topped with an abutment or a magnetic plate the device will be attached to. The abutment sticks out slightly past the skin allowing placement of the device.
The magnetic plate is implanted beneath the skin and cannot be seen, allowing for discreet placement of the device via a powerful magnet.
After the procedure, your implant needs time to heal. This can take from three weeks to three months. Once you’ve healed and the implant begins to fuse to the bone, your device can be placed and adjusted to your needs.
If you’ve been considering a bone-anchored hearing aid, book an appointment at West Shore ENT & Allergy by phone or online to speak with an experienced ENT specialist.