Non-surgical option for hearing loss

October 10, 2018 0 By CH Unnikrishnan

Med-El has been granted marketing approval for Adhear, a non-surgical bone conduction hearing technology.

Adhear offers an option for people with conductive hearing loss who are not candidates for, or who would not like to undergo, bone conduction implant surgery.
It is also a treatment option for candidates with single-sided deafness and normal hearing on the contralateral side.

Adhear is easy to use. An adhesive adapter is placed onto the skin behind the ear and is worn for three to seven days at a time. The lightweight audio processor is simply clicked on and off each day. The audio processor picks up sound waves, converts them into vibrations and transmits them onto the bone via the adhesive adaptor. The bone then transfers the vibrations through the skull to the inner ear where they are processed as normal sound. Bone conduction uses the bones of the skull to transmit sound waves directly to the inner ear and may be an appropriate option for people who have hearing loss due to problems with the eardrum, ear canal or middle ear.

Unlike available non-surgical bone conduction devices that cause discomfort for the user, Adhear comfortably stays in position without applying pressure onto the skin, while its discreet location behind the ear makes it cosmetically appealing.

Med-El acquired the device’s technology from Swedish medical device company Otorix in 2016 and further developed Adhear at Med-El’s headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria.

Conductive hearing loss is caused by problems with the ear canal, ear drum, or middle ear and its tiny bones. Causes of conductive hearing loss include congenital absence of the ear canal or failure of the ear canal to be open at birth, and congenital absence, malformation, or dysfunction of the middle ear structures.