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Have you – or has someone you know – lost the ability to hear on one side? If so, you’re not alone. Over 50,000 individuals are diagnosed with “Single Sided Deafness” (SSD) every year in the U.S.
Single Sided Deafness is characterized by a significant sensorineural hearing loss in one ear, and normal hearing for most speech frequencies in the opposite ear. It is also referred to as a unilateral hearing loss.
Dear Dr. Schumaier,
I just passed 3 years since sudden and complete sensorineural hearing loss in my left ear, and 2� years since being fitted with my first TransEar. The first one was a real blessing. The real amazement came two months ago when I changed audiologists and received the latest model TransEar. What an amazing difference! Comprehension is substantially better than with the first device, and massively better than with nothing. I’m able to function well in settings that were difficult even with my first TransEar (such as loud background noise in stores, restaurants, etc. as well as meetings or classes with many participants). I could go on for pages, but suffice it to say I am providing this completely on my own, with no request from you or your staff, because I want other people to have the benefit I have. I would not ever want to be without a TransEar again.
TransEar is an elegant, affordable, and effective answer to SSD. It looks like a conventional BTE (Behind-the Ear) hearing aid, but instead of simply amplifying sound, it relies on bone conduction to transmit the sound to the better ear.
TransEar is not the first bone conduction hearing aid, but it is the first to overcome Single Sided Deafness
- without surgery;
- without bulky headbands;
- without having to wear another hearing aid in the “good” ear.
Just like a conventional hearing aid, a custom shell is made to fit in the ear canal. However, unlike a conventional aid that would simply amplify the sound, TransEar has a miniature oscillator embedded in the shell. The oscillator is positioned in the shell in such a way that it makes contact with the bony portion of the ear canal. When sound is “received” on the side of the non-functioning ear, it’s converted to mechanical energy that drives the oscillator. Those signals are then transferred via the bones of the skull to the cochlea in the opposite ear.
All of this happens nearly instantaneously, but your brain knows the difference. It learns to distinguish between sounds coming in on the side of the good ear versus sounds coming in from the opposite side.
The ability to determine the specific source of a sound – left side / right side, front / back, and everything in between – is called sound localization, and many TransEar users report that they have regained this ability with TransEar.
Will TransEar work for me?
TransEar’s effectiveness depends on a specific threshold of hearing in the “better” ear, so your hearing healthcare professional will evaluate your hearing in both ears. Each patient’s physiology and medical conditions may also be factors in the fitting.
Important note: Because there may be an underlying condition requiring medical treatment, it’s important to report the onset of SSD to a medical professional such as an ENT doctor or otologist for a thorough examination. Your doctor may in turn work with a hearing healthcare professional to determine if TransEar is appropriate for your type of hearing loss and medical considerations.
From a TransEar user’s perspective.
From H.Y. Sunnyvale CA, 9/5/08