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What are middle ear implants?

http://www.healthyhearing.com/content/faqs/Technology/Middle-ear-implants/30937-What-are-middle-ear

Middle ear implants are surgically implanted devices. Particular middle ear implants have been approved by the FDA for specific hearing losses, such as chronic middle ear conductive hearing loss and Single Sided Deafness (SSD).

Middle ear implants are very useful hearing instruments and are quite different from traditional hearing aids.

Generally speaking, when a hearing aid is placed in/on the ear, the sound amplified by the hearing aid is transmitted to the ear via AIR CONDUCTION. Middle ear implants work by vibrating the middle ear bones to produce a BONE CONDUCTION signal, or - middle ear implants deliver a vibration, transmitted via BONE CONDUCTION to the skull, and consequently to the inner ear.

Middle ear implants are less likely to produce feedback and they do not occlude ("plug up") the ear canal. The reported benefits of middle ear implants include; elimination of the occlusion effect, elimination/reduction of feedback, reduction in distortion, improved clarity and sound quality, as well as some cosmetic advantages.

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