Comparing Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants, and Bone-Anchored Implants

Hearing aids, cochlear implants, and bone-anchored auditory implants are all designed to assist individuals with hearing loss. Each functions differently and is suited to different types of hearing impairments.

Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are external devices that amplify sound. They are equipped with a microphone to capture sound, an amplifier to increase the sound level, and a speaker that delivers the amplified sound into the ear canal. Hearing aids are versatile and can be used by individuals with a range of hearing loss from mild to severe. However, they are primarily for those with sensorineural hearing loss. More about hearing aids.

Cochlear Implants

Cochlear implants are surgically implanted electronic devices that bypass damaged portions of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. They consist of an external portion behind the ear and a second component surgically placed under the skin. Cochlear implants are generally recommended for individuals with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss who do not benefit sufficiently from traditional hearing aids.

Bone-Anchored Implants

Bone-anchored implants are another surgical solution, but they work differently from cochlear implants. These devices transmit sound vibrations directly to the inner ear through the bone. They bypass the outer and middle ear. Bone-anchored implants are most suitable for individuals with conductive hearing loss, where there is a problem in the transmission of sound through the outer and middle ears. The implant also works for individuals with single-sided deafness who have little to no hearing in one ear.

Choosing the Right Hearing Device

The choice between hearing aids, cochlear implants, and bone-anchored auditory implants depends on several factors, including the type and severity of hearing loss, the anatomical structure of the ears, and personal preferences. Speak to Dr. Boger, who will evaluate your specific conditions and symptoms to determine the appropriate solution.