Bone Conduction Implants
What is a bone conduction implant?
Bone is an excellent conductor of sound. A bone conduction implant takes advantage of this property by transmitting sound to the cochlear (inner ear) through the bones of the skull.
A bone conduction implant system has two parts:
- The implant, which is surgically positioned in the bone behind the ear. The type of implant will vary depending on the bone conduction system chosen.
- The sound processor, which connects to the head via an abutment (Connect System) or via magnetic attraction (Attract and Bonebridge Systems).
How does it work?
Is it right for you?
A bone conduction implant may be of benefit if you have a conductive or mixed hearing loss and you are unable to wear conventional hearing aids for medical or anatomical reasons. A bone conduction implant may also be of benefit if you have single-sided deafness.
There are different types of bone conduction implants including Connect, Attract and Bonebridge Systems. The bone conduction system most suitable for you will depend not only on your personal preferences but also on your hearing loss, skin and bone condition.
You can trial a bone conduction sound processor on a soft-band prior to surgery to help you decide if it is right for you.
Is a bone conduction implant suitable for single-sided deafness?
A bone conduction implant is a suitable treatment option for many people with Single-Sided Deafness (SSD).
Unlike a cochlear implant for SSD, a bone conduction implant uses the bone's natural ability to conduct sound to send information from your poorer hearing side to your better hearing ear.
The bone conduction implant is positioned on your poorer hearing side and bypasses your non-functioning cochlea to enable your better hearing ear to receive sound information from both sides of the head. This may improve your sound awareness and ease of listening in a variety of situations including meetings in the workplace, driving in the car and talking at the dinner table.
What can you expect?
Many people with a bone conduction implant can hear more easily, understand speech better and enjoy:
- The freedom of hearing without an ear mould in the ear
- More consistent and reliable hearing, unaffected by chronic ear conditions or anatomical issues
- Improved clarity and awareness of sound
- Improved confidence in conversation
- Improved listening in social situations and in the workplace
- Improved hearing over distance