Hearing More

With the fast paced world and fast turn of over of technology, it is not surprising that some people will come up with new ways of helping or enabling the “unabled” or disabled. Researchers at Otologics in Colorado, USA have come up with a new hearing aid device. The hearing aid gadget is surgically implanted behind the ear, instead of the usual clip-ons outside and behind the ear or insertions into the ear. It picks up sound via a microphone and transmits it to a piston that is implanted in the middle ear, which then transfers vibrations to the tiny bones of the inner ear.

With this device, which is to be replaced once in every 5-20 years, enables the user to hear a more “natural” sound compared to the conventional types of hearing aids. Also, it can be worn wherever the user goes and does, and doesn’t have to be taken off when going to bed. However, compared to the latter, it reduces a narrower range of frequencies, meaning that users hear less with it as evidenced by word- comprehension tests that they (the users) took. Another thing is that its battery has to be recharged nightly using a transmitter strapped to the user’s head for an hour and it costs a lot more than the conventional hearing aids. However, since this is a new product, it is expected that it has drawbacks, such as its price and frequency range, which are very important factors to be considered in hearing aids.

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