Every hearing profile is unique, and each hearing impairment requires an equally unique solution. Be that as it may, in general, hearing solutions usually fall into two major categories—traditional hearing devices or cochlear implants, both of which are excellent options and help millions of people.
However, some people fall into a hearing loss niche proving difficult to care for—high-frequency hearing loss. With severe high-frequency hearing loss cases, high-pitched sounds are hard to hear, and speech sounds are muffled, and both hearing aids and cochlear implants just aren’t doing the trick.
Some may find cochlear implants troublesome since they require surgery and risk losing low-frequency hearing. The solution? A collaborative team out of Stanford is trying to crack it with a new device.1
Francis Wong, MBBS, and Jay Dhuldhoya, a biomedical engineer, were inspired to solve the problem while observing patients with high-frequency hearing loss at the Stanford Audiology Clinic. Wong described one of these encounters via Stanford’s Scope blog:
“It was obvious that he had real difficulty understanding speech and even communicating with his wife,” he said. “He was considering a cochlear implant but was torn because [he] knew there would be no turning back. It was heartbreaking to see him struggle with even the most basic communication because he couldn’t get comfortable with the only treatment option available to him.”
So, Wong and Dhuldhoya teamed up with Peter Santa Maria, MD, Ph.D., and others in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery to create a new solution that can improve speech perception with less risk of losing those low frequencies.
Though the device is in the early days of clinical trials, this is an incredibly promising additional option for patients with a very specific type of hearing loss, who may not benefit from traditional solutions.
Concerned about hearing loss? Contact Center for Hearing today to schedule a consultation— (239) 434-0086