The implants are one of the hearing solutions most effective that exist for people with hearing loss and for those to whom earphones They are not enough for them. Depending on the type of hearing loss, specialists will recommend a cochlear implant or a osseointegrated implant. In the following post we explain the difference between both and in which cases each one is more suitable.
The main difference between a cochlear implant and an osseointegrated implant is that he It is first recommended for people who have limited or damaged cochlea functionwhile The second is prescribed for people whose hearing loss is conductive or mixed (also sensorineural). and the cochlea does work well for them.
In the case of the cochlear implant, we are talking about a electronic medical device which replaces the function of damaged inner ear. It has two parts: an external one, called sound processor, and an internal one, which is located in the inner ear through a simple surgical intervention. The processor collects and transmits the sound, digitally encoded, to the internal part of the system, which converts these signals into electrical impulses and thus stimulates the auditory nerve. This sends the impulses to the brain, where they are interpreted as sound.
In which cases is a cochlear implant recommended?
A cochlear implant is usually recommended in the following cases:
- People affected by moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears.
- Hearing aid users who hardly notice any benefit.
- People who have obtained a Score 50% or lower on sentence recognition tests performed by hearing professionals in the ear to implant.
- People who have obtained a Score 60% or lower on sentence recognition tests carried out by specialists in the non-implanted ear or in both ears with hearing aids.
And the osseointegrated implant?
The osseointegrated implant has become one of the best alternatives for people with hearing problems in the outer or middle ear. In fact, only in Spain, they are already nearly 3,000 people have benefited of this hearing solution. This type of implants transfer sound through the bone directly to the inner ear in the form of vibrations and without forcing the ear canal.
There are three types of hearing loss or hearing loss for which this type of implant may be the most appropriate:
- Sensorineural hearing loss in one ear:
This is the most common type of hearing loss and is due to problems in the inner ear or nerve pathways. Although sound transmission through the outer and middle ear to the inner ear may be normal, information cannot be encoded into electrical signals that the brain can use.
- Conductive hearing loss:
Conductive hearing loss is caused by a blocking sound transmission through the outer ear or middle ear. This blockage can be caused by chronic otitis media, otosclerosis (calcification that reduces the mobility of the stapes), external ear malformations either perforated eardrum.
- Mixed hearing loss due to infections and malformations:
This type of hearing loss is a combination between conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. A chronic infection could, for example, cause mixed hearing loss if it damages the eardrum and ossicles, preventing the cochlea from working properly.