FDA Approves Implantable Hearing Aids: Should Miami’s Hard of Hearing React?

Posted on March 23, 2010. Filed under: hearing health | Tags: , , , , |

Talk of Implantable hearing aids has been around for quite some time now. A reason why some people may have not heard of it is because it was in its “experimental” stage. Recently the U.S Food and Drug Administration has issued its first approval for an implantable hearing aid for the middle ear.


The Esteem from Envoy Medical Corporation is an implantable hearing aid that uses a battery, which lasts up to 9 years. After the battery wears out, it gets replaced through a minor outpatient surgical operation. So there is a tradeoff here – no frequent battery hassles, but you do have to go under the knife at least once every decade. The system uses implanted sensors, sound processors, and drivers to convert vibrations in the eardrum and middle ear bones into electrical signals that are amplified and filtered to compensate for a patient’s muted perception of sounds and speech.

It seems that the new implantable device has answered the prayers of those who are hard of hearing, but how risky is it? A significant number of testers experienced implant procedure-related side effects, including 42% with taste disturbance and 7% with facial paralysis. Most of the adverse events resolved over the course of the year-long study, the FDA said in the release. Here lies the big question, Will those who suffer from deafness in Miami, Fl be willing to try out the new hearing aid implants?

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