Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Device That Produces Tiny Skull Vibrations A Big Help For Hearing Impaired

Date:
April 26, 2008
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
A patient who is completely deaf in his right ear, he still can hear from that side. A sound processor he wears just behind his right ear converts sound waves into tiny vibrations that move through his skull. The vibrations are detected by his good left ear, so it sounds to him like he can hear from both sides. A new study has found that this system of conducting sound through skull bone is a big boost to people who are deaf in one ear and can't be helped by hearing aids or cochlear implants.

Although Jim McGinn of Wheaton is completely deaf in his right ear, he still can hear from that side. A sound processor McGinn wears just behind his right ear converts sound waves into tiny vibrations that move through his skull. The vibrations are detected by his good left ear, so it sounds to McGinn like he can hear from both sides.

A Loyola University Health System study has found that this system of conducting sound through skull bone is a big boost to people who are deaf in one ear and can’t be helped by hearing aids or cochlear implants.

Sixty Loyola patients were asked to compare their hearing before and after getting the system, called Baha. Their ability to hear in a quiet environment improved by 28 percent, the trouble they had with background noise decreased by 33 percent and the difficulties they experienced with reverberating sounds in such settings as churches and lecture halls was reduced by 29 percent. The only downside: there was a 7 percent increase in the annoyance caused by loud sounds such as fire truck sirens.

“People are hearing much better,” said V. Suzanne Jeter, an audiologist at Loyola Oakbrook Terrace Medical Center.

Jeter presented the study at the 10th International Conference on Cochlear Implants and Other Implantable Auditory Technologies in San Diego.

Each year, more than 60,000 people in the United States become deaf in one ear due to such causes as chronic ear infections, congenital conditions, inner ear disease, injuries or tumors.

McGinn, a retired accountant, lost hearing on his right side due to an acoustic neuroma, a benign tumor in the inner ear. At the dinner table, he struggled to hear what people to his right were saying. And when driving his car, he couldn’t hear the passenger.

A Loyola surgeon implanted a small titanium post in McGinn’s skull, behind his right ear. The sound processor clips on to this post. The battery-operated processor is roughly the size of an adult thumb, from the tip to the first knuckle. A microphone picks up sound waves, and a computer chip converts the sound waves into electrical signals that vibrate the skull. These tiny vibrations, which McGinn can’t feel, travel to the inner portion of his left ear, where they are detected as sound. McGinn removes the sound processor when showering or sleeping.

“It’s a dramatic difference,” McGinn said. “I’m getting conversation from around the table now, not just from the left side.”

Since 2004, Loyola doctors have put the device in 130 patients. The total cost per patient ranges from $10,000 to $15,000. Medicare and most insurance plans cover it, Jeter said.

Jeter’s study is the largest of its kind on the device. Jeter said she receives no funding from Cochlear Americas, which makes the device.

To schedule an appointment with a Loyola physician, call 888-LUHS-888.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Device That Produces Tiny Skull Vibrations A Big Help For Hearing Impaired." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080425164738.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2008, April 26). Device That Produces Tiny Skull Vibrations A Big Help For Hearing Impaired. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080425164738.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Device That Produces Tiny Skull Vibrations A Big Help For Hearing Impaired." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080425164738.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) 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:
from the past week

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