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The Implantable and Semi-Implantable Hearing Aid

The charity HEAR is also becoming involved with the new programmes at Manchester Royal Infirmary looking at the effectiveness of semi-implantable and totally implantable hearing aids.There have been several attempts over the years to develop devices which are surgically implanted in the ear. The potential advantages of these systems include higher fidelity,avoidance of acoustic feedback,avoidance of the occlusion effect in the ear canal,as
well as the obvious cosmetic acceptability and the fact that a totally implanted device cannot be mislaid.Certain problems such as miniaturisation, and d livery of power have been overcome.The two devices supported by HEAR are a semi-implantable system in which a magnet attached at surgery to the incus is driven by an electromagnetic driver in the ear canal,and a totally implantable system in which a microphone implanted under the skin of the ear
canal delivers energy to the ossicular chain via a probe attached to the body of the incus.At the present time it is too early to report results, but there is a very large pool of patients,not deaf enough to require a cochlear implant,who might benefit from this technology.

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