Patients Unable to Wear Hearing Aids Have Alternative
New York, NY - A thumb-sized sound processor worn behind the ear and held in place by a small, magnetized titanium implant inserted under the skin is now being offered at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center to people with single-sided sensorineural hearing loss and for those with conductive hearing loss who cannot wear conventional hearing aids.
"The Sophono Alpha 2 abutment-free, bone-anchored hearing system is for patients who cannot wear conventional hearing aids because of chronic ear infections or external auditory canal atresia, a condition where the ear canal is not fully formed or functional," said Dr. Anil K. Lalwani, an otolaryngologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.
Other devices for these patients tether in place by drilling a hole in the skull and installing a screw (abutment) that pokes through the skin on the side of the head. Patients then have to wait three months before the device can be used and often suffer from chronic skin infection around the abutment.
"The Sophono Alpha device, which is abutment-free, is cosmetically more appealing as no apparatus comes through the skin. As a result, there is no issue of constant wound care, as the hearing aid is secured in place by magnets," said Dr. Lalwani, who is also professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and director of the Division of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery and of the Cochlear Implant Center, Columbia University Medical Center. Continue>
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