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ELECTRO ACOUSTIC STIMULATION : A SOLUTION WHEN HEARING AIDS ARE NOT ENOUGH


Electric acoustic stimulation (EAS), also known as hybrid stimulation or partial deafness cochlear implantation (CI), is indicated for individuals with intact low-frequency hearing and profound high-frequency hearing loss. Although low frequencies contribute information to aid in speech perception, speech production, environmental sound awareness, music, and emotion recognition, these individuals are generally able to detect vowels, but few or no consonants, and thus have difficulty with word understanding and hearing in noise.

Continuing innovations in CI have led to increased success in the preservation of residual acoustic hearing, thus allowing for the expansion of CI candidacy and the development of combined technologies in which both electric and acoustic stimulation are delivered to the implanted ear. Traditionally, the electrode insertion depth is confined to the basal turn of the cochlea, avoiding damage to the apical cochlear region.



HOW DOES A HYBRID HEARING WORK?


The acoustic component amplifies the natural low-frequency hearing you have, while the cochlear implant restores access to the high-frequency sounds you might not hear.



The implant has two parts: an external sound processor with an acoustic component and an internal implant.



1. Microphones on the sound processor pick up sounds and convert them to digital signals.

2. At the same time, the acoustic component amplifies the sounds you hear and sends them through the ear canal just like a standard hearing aid.

3. The digital signals from the sound processor are transferred through the coil to the cochlear implant just under the skin.

4. The cochlear implant sends electrical signals along the electrode into the inner ear.

5. Hearing nerve fibers in the inner ear pick up the signals, combine them with the amplified sounds and send them to the brain. This is then translated as sound.


CHARACTERISTICS OF EAS SYSTEM


EAS uses electrode arrays that minimize trauma during insertion and thus maximize hearing preservation. Several characteristics, such as electrode length, diameter, and degree of flexibility, contribute to atraumatic insertion.


For hearing preservation during CI include avoidance of perilymph suctioning, careful manipulation around the cochleostomy, slow and delicate electrode insertion, and cochleostomy sealing.


ELECTRO ACOUSTIC STIMULATION AUDIOLOGIC OUTCOMES

EAS and Hybrid systems show improvement in monosyllabic words, sentences, and speech in noise. The implant audiologist has to work to integrate the 2 signals for the best sound quality.

More time will be spent programming to find the best crossover of acoustic signal to create the best sound quality for the patient.


In Summary, Electro Acoustic Stimulation provides hearing that's more complete. The benefits may include improvements in:

· hearing performance in both quiet and noise

· overall hearing satisfaction

· understanding speech

· sound quality

· music appreciation


DO YOU QUALIFY FOR HYBRID COCHLEAR IMPLANTS?

If you have normal to moderate low-frequency hearing loss, but severe to profound high-frequency hearing loss –Hybrid Hearing may be a solution.


HOW TO GO ABOUT THE PROCESS


At Bangalore Cochlear Implant Institute, Dr. Sampath Chandra Prasad Rao supported by an excellent team of ENT surgeons and Audiologists provide client specific hearing rehabilitation solutions. For any information connect with us through info@bciinstitute.net. Ph: +91 6366888883