Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alternative Treatment Brings Hearing To Both Ears

Date:
August 4, 2007
Source:
Loyola University Medical Center
Summary:
Thomas Lynch, age 2, is now able to hear on both sides of his head with a new device and surgical procedure. Born with no ear canal on his left side, Tom had significant hearing impairment and went to Loyola University Medical Center, where Dr. Sam Marzo surgically implanted a bone-anchored cochlear stimulator that delivers sound to the inner ear by bone conduction.

Thomas Lynch, age 2, is now able to hear on both sides of his head with a device and surgical procedure pioneered by a surgeon-led team at Loyola University Medical Center.

Born with no ear canal on his left side, Tom had significant hearing impairment and went to Loyola University Medical Center, where Dr. Sam Marzo surgically implanted a bone-anchored cochlear stimulator that delivers sound to the inner ear by bone conduction. Marzo activated Tom’s device at Loyola’s Oakbrook Terrace Medical Center.

“It harnesses the ability of the skull bone to conduct sound vibrations,” said Marzo, associate professor of otolaryngology, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, Ill. “It will enable Tom to perceive sounds on both sides of his head, which is critical for his speech development.”

Bone conduction is an alternative way to stimulate the cochlea if the regular sound route—via the ear canal—is interrupted or not available. The cochlea is the snail-shaped part of the inner ear that is responsible for hearing.

The device may be an alternative for people whose deafness cannot be helped by traditional hearing aids or cochlear implants.

The treatment is applicable for single-sided deafness, which affects some 60,000 people each year. The device can be snapped on and off—for showering and sleeping.

“People unable to hear as a result of chronic ear inflammation or drainage can benefit from this new therapy,” said Marzo, who also serves as program director of the Hearing and Balance Center at Loyola’s Oakbrook Terrace Medical Center, One South Summit Ave, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. “The device will work for people who do not have a functioning ear canal.”

It has successfully treated sudden hearing loss, as well as hearing loss secondary to acoustic neuroma (tumor) and Meniere's disease (excessive fluid in the inner ear.)

Marzo noted that patients must have one working cochlea for the treatment to be effective.

To provide the therapy, a small titanium post is surgically implanted in the skull bone, one-half inch behind the ear. It takes three months for the implant to be integrated into the bone. A 1.5-inch x 1-inch sound processor, which snaps onto the post, transmits sound via bone conduction directly to the cochlea. The result is the sensation of hearing from both ears.

Hearing is an important safety issue, Marzo said. For example, walkers, joggers and bicyclists need to hear oncoming traffic. “Without being able to hear on both sides, it is difficult to perceive direction,” he said.

Marzo has a non-invasive test to determine if the bone-anchored hearing aid will be effective for a patient. To begin, the patient puts on what appears to be a set of headphones. One of the earpieces is placed on the mastoid bone behind the ear. This earpiece is a bone oscillator, the size of a U.S. quarter in radius that will send sound waves to the inner ear via bone conduction. Then, for the test, the patient blocks out any ear canal sound by putting a finger in each ear. The device is turned on. “If they are able to hear at this point, the procedure will work,” said Marzo.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Medical Center. "Alternative Treatment Brings Hearing To Both Ears." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070803151105.htm>.
Loyola University Medical Center. (2007, August 4). Alternative Treatment Brings Hearing To Both Ears. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070803151105.htm
Loyola University Medical Center. "Alternative Treatment Brings Hearing To Both Ears." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070803151105.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins