New middle ear device to restore lost hearing

Swedish scientists are claiming a breakthrough with a new type of hearing device.
Last update on Jan, 10, 2017

Traditional hearing aid devices enhance the functions of the inner ear, but are not suitable for those who have developed a mechanical problem with the middle ear, through something such as bone disease or congenital malformations of auditory canal. These patients usually require an implant which must be screwed into the skull, but there is a risk of infection or losing the screw.

However, a team of experts from Chalmers University of Technology and Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg have developed a new six-centimetre device which does not need a screw, instead attaching to the skull bone just beneath the skin; it then uses bone conduction to transmit sound to the inner ear, avoiding the compromised middle ear.

The first functional device has been implanted in a patient, and when turned on it is expected to give the individual a volume increase of at least five decibels and better sound recognition at high frequencies.

This news follows the announcement that experts from Harvard Medical School have managed to isolate a drug which initiates growth of the hair cells which are vital to sound processing in the inner ear.

News & Blog

Catch up on the latest news and stories on hearing health.
Learn more

Get support and advice

Book a free hearing test

Book now

Test your hearing online

Take the test

Find your nearest store

Find a store