Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UT Southwestern testing new hybrid hearing device combining advantages of hearing aids, implants

21.04.2008
A new hybrid hearing aid/cochlear implant device designed for patients who can benefit from both is being evaluated by UT Southwestern Medical Center otolaryngologists, as part of a multisite, national study.

The cross-breed device, called the DUET Electric-Acoustic System, or EAS, is already used in Europe, but not yet approved for use in the U.S. It targets a population currently falling through the cracks — borderline cases for which hearing aids don’t adequately distinguish sounds, but for who some natural hearing remains. For these individuals, cochlear implants that entirely replace natural hearing aren’t recommended either.

Hearing aids are typically worn on the outside of the ear by people who still have some natural hearing. Cochlear implants are surgically implanted into the ear and pick up lost middle- and higher-frequency sounds. They replace lost natural hearing by digitizing electrical impulses sent to the brain via wires implanted in the ear. The brain then interprets that as sound.

Most people with hearing difficulties have one or the other device, but not both.

Initial studies on the hybrid device suggest there is a synergistic effect achieved by maintaining the natural hearing and coupling it with the cochlear implant, particularly for distinguishing speech in noisy environments. The device both amplifies low frequencies and electronically stimulates middle and high frequencies.

The implant is specifically designed with a thin electrode to occupy less space in the inner ear. It is implanted by special surgical techniques to preserve natural hearing.

“What patients can hope to get from the investigational device is a significant improvement in the ability to understand speech, especially in a noisy situation,” said Dr. Peter Roland, chairman of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at UT Southwestern.

The device is made by MED-EL Corp., which conducts the initial patient screening for the trial. The device is still investigational, so all of the potential risks are not known, Dr. Roland said. The most common serious complication is loss of what hearing is left in the ear that receives the implant. The opposite ear is unaffected. Significant hearing loss has occurred in 10 percent to 15 percent of recipients to date.

UT Southwestern is among about a dozen sites participating in the national trial. UT Southwestern researchers are seeking about a dozen participants, said Dr. Roland.

Potential study participants must be at least 18 years old, have moderate sloping to severe profound hearing loss, and have had minimal results from traditional hearing aids. Patients appropriate for the study will still have some natural hearing left but find themselves struggling to understand loud speech, particularly in noisy, crowded situations, even while wearing high-quality hearing aids. The target patient has hearing loss in high frequencies, but also requires a hearing aid to boost low-frequency sound.

“We need people who are not getting enough benefit from their hearing aids to live normal lives, but who are not quite deaf enough for a regular cochlear implant,” explained Dr. Roland.

Approved study participants will be asked to provide their current hearing test results for review and will be retested if the initial results fit the profile. If approved, the new device will be implanted behind the ear during a two-hour outpatient surgery. Local participants then will have several follow-up visits at UT Southwestern to evaluate how the device is working. The surgery and follow-up care — taking place over about a 15-month period — is provided without charge to participants.

Potential trial candidates can call 214-648-7151 or e-mail betty.loy@utsouthwestern.edu.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/earnosethroat to learn more about
UT Southwestern’s clinical services in otolaryngology.

Russell Rian | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized
23.05.2017 | Waseda University

nachricht Computer accurately identifies and delineates breast cancers on digital tissue slides
11.05.2017 | Case Western Reserve University

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>