“Hearing aids” are medical devices regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), whose intent is to treat hearing loss. Hearing aids are not curative and will not return normal hearing, but that can significantly improve your ability to communicate and reduce the frequent isolation and frustration hearing loss produces.
There are some individuals though who, because of ear deformities, the type or degree of the hearing loss, or due to their underlying ear disease or condition, cannot wear and/or significantly benefit from traditional hearing aids. This is where an implantable device, which is implanted by a trained otologist/otolaryngologist and programmed and managed by an audiologist, can be life-changing and can provide improved access to sound and communication. In other words, implantable devices are an excellent option when traditional hearing aids are not sufficient. They also can be appropriate for healthy individuals, irrespective of age.
Some indications that an implantable device may be a potential option to treat hearing loss are:
Implantable devices take several forms. The most common options are cochlear implants, auditory osseointegrated devices, middle-ear implants, light driven devices, and auditory brainstem implants. Every individual is not a candidate for an implantable solution. Whether or not an implantable device is an appropriate option is determined through comprehensive evaluation and testing by an otologist/otolaryngologist and audiologist.