Envoy Medical has produced the world’s first FDA approved totally implantable hearing device specifically engineered to help improve the hearing of adults diagnosed with moderate to severe sensorineural hearing loss. It is called the “Esteem” and it is a breakthrough in technology that actually utilizes your own eardrum as the sound collection mechanism rather than using a synthetic microphone. The results are truly amazing in terms of sound clarity, quality and ease of use.
Because the Esteem is a true implant, it’s invisible. There are no external components and nothing is inserted in your ear canal. Unlike hearing aids, you never put it on or take it off, you can’t lose it, you don’t clean it and as a result, you rarely have to think about it.
Watch: Dr. Jack Shohet discusses the Esteem Implantable Hearing System
How It Works
Esteem works with your ear’s anatomy to let sound in the way nature intended. There are no microphones to distort conversations or amplify wind. And there is nothing in your ear canal to block sound’s natural path. Instead, the device’s three components work together with your ear to deliver Esteem’s natural hearing. These include:
Esteem Sensor Sound enters your outer ear and funnels down your ear canal causing your eardrum to vibrate. All as it naturally would. The Esteem Sensor then converts the vibrations into electrical signals that are sent to the implanted Esteem Sound Processor.
Esteem Sound Processor Then the Esteem Sound Processor receives, adjusts and intensifies the signals to fit your unique hearing needs.
Esteem Driver The Esteem Driver translates these customized signals to intensified vibrations. The vibrations are transferred to the inner ear where the cochlea cells are stimulated, causing you to hear more natural sound. The Personal Programmer lets you make adjustments for the specific hearing situation (not shown in diagram)
Watch: How Does the Esteem® Hearing Implant Differ From Hearing Aids?
Who It Helps
Nerve-related (sensorineural) hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. It is caused when the tiny hair cells inside the cochlea are damaged or degraded, and don’t transmit sound impulses to the brain as effectively. Esteem is designed to treat adults with this type of hearing loss.
An audiogram is used to help determine your audiometric candidacy. It shows the softest levels of sound you can hear. The shaded region on the audiogram below displays a broad range of hearing thresholds that the Esteem helps.
Ease-of-Use The Esteem® requires no maintenance. There is no device to take out and put on the nightstand. There are no worries about getting any electronics wet. You can swim, shower and exercise without worry. The batteries do not need to be recharged every night. It simply keeps working and working for years on end. The batteries are tested to last approximately 6 or 7 years if used 16 hours a day for seven days a week. (Continuous use at very high noise levels may reduce battery life to a range of 3-9 years). At the end of that time, a minor procedure is necessary to replace the battery.
Sound Quality The sound quality and level of amplification has been reported by patients to be amazing. Because it uses the human eardrum as a microphone, the sound collection is more natural. Thus, the sound experience is much more natural. There is no “squealing” feedback that plagues conventional hearing aids usage. Most patients who have previously tried hearing aids are thrilled with the improvement from the Esteem.