A new FDA-approved device has recently come onto the market and brings together the best of two different technologies to preserve and enhance low-frequency hearing while restoring access to high-frequency hearing.
The Cochlear ™ Nucleus® Hybrid Implant System is the first and only solution to incorporate hybrid hearing to help people hear again. It is composed of a hearing aid portion to address the lower frequencies and a cochlear implant to address the higher frequencies of hearing.
For people with mild to moderate hearing loss in the low frequencies, hearing aids offer acoustic amplification to send sounds through the normal hearing pathway. The cochlear implant component of the hybrid device addresses severe to profound hearing loss or deafness and bypasses the cause of hearing loss to send electronic sound signals directly to the brain. When combined, these signals allow a full spectrum of sound.
The Cochlear Nucleus Hybrid is an implanted device that amplifies low-pitched sounds by sending them down the normal pathway of hearing. At the same time, the device’s sound processor converts high-frequency sounds to digital signals and sends them to the hearing implant. These signals combine with the amplified low-pitched sounds and turn into the full spectrum of sound that the wearer hears.
The Cochlear Nucleus Hybrid is implanted during a simple outpatient procedure. Shohet Ear Associates was among the first practices in California to offer this innovative technology, which greatly enhances speech recognition, sound quality, and quality of life.