Piezoelectric Bone Conduction Hearing Implants

News Excerpt:

The Command Hospital Pune performed two successful piezoelectric bone conduction hearing implants, making it the first government hospital in the country to do the medical operations.

What is a piezoelectric bone conduction hearing implant?

  • An active piezoelectric bone conduction hearing implant system is an implantable medical electronic device for hearing-impaired patients with conductive loss (including aural atresia), mixed hearing loss, and single-sided deafness.
  • The cost of the equipment has always been a concern, limiting its outreach.
    • Aural Atresia: Aural atresia is when a baby is born without an ear canal. The baby's eardrum either didn't form normally or is missing. 

Significance of the procedure:

  • Some patients with conductive/ mixed hearing loss or patients with single-sided deafness cannot get cochlear implantation and do not benefit from hearing aids or middle-ear surgery. 
  • In these cases providing hearing augmentation is crucial to mitigate hearing disability and improve academic outcomes in children and social lives in adults.
    • Bone conduction implantation emerges as a definitive hearing solution for these patients to facilitate their rehabilitation.

What is bone conduction hearing?

  • Most people hear in two ways: 
    • By air conduction [Information enters our ear canal, travels through the middle ear, and registers in the mechanisms of the inner ear (cochlea).]
    • By bone conduction (Information from vibration through bones goes directly to the cochlea).
    • They both work together to help us listen to and perceive sound.

  • Problems in the outer or middle ear can restrict sound waves from getting through to the inner ear which results in hearing loss. 
  • Bone conduction hearing is a mechanism by which sound vibrations are transmitted directly to the inner ear through bone tissues in the skull, bypassing the outer and middle ear. 
  • This process allows individuals to perceive sound even if their outer or middle ear is impaired.

Cochlear Implants:

  • A cochlear implant is an electronic device that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is deaf or severely hard of hearing. 
  • Unlike hearing aids, which amplify sound, a cochlear implant bypasses damaged portions of the ear to deliver sound signals to the hearing (auditory) nerve.
  • Cochlear implants and bone-anchored hearing systems are indicated for different hearing conditions. Bone-anchored hearing systems are indicated for conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss, or single-sided deafness. Cochlear Implants are indicated for bilateral severe hearing loss.

The Command Hospital, Pune:

  • The Command Hospital (SC), Pune, is one of the premier institutes of the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS).
  • The hospital was recently awarded with the most prestigious “Raksha Mantri” trophy as the best hospital in the entire AFMS.

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