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Towards understanding the specifics of cochlear hearing loss: A modelling approach

It is well known that two patients suffering from a sensorineural hearing loss with similar audiograms can benefit significantly differently from amplified hearing even if the same settings of the hearing aids are used. The origin of this problem is complex but one part can be caused by the diagnosis itself; all inner-ear hearing losses are assumed similar. Such hypothesis is a simplification that probably leads to suboptimal hearing-aid fitting. For a better understanding of the signal degeneration caused by a cochlear lesion a model layout of the signal transmission in the peripheral hearing organ is presented. This model differentiates between processes in the inner ear caused by the outer hair cells, the inner hair cells, and the endocochlear potential driving the system. The model is intended to predict alteration of the signal caused by different types of cochlear lesions. Ultimately, the model may lead to improved hearing aids and fittings.

from the International Journal of Audiology

The Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid for children: Recent developments

from the International Journal of Audiology

In 1984 the Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid, or BAHA, system was introduced. Its transducer is coupled directly to the skull percutaneously to form a highly effective bone-conduction hearing device. Clinical studies on adults with conductive hearing loss have shown that the BAHA system outperforms conventional bone-conduction hearing aids. Therefore, the next step was to apply the BAHA system in children with congenital or acquired conductive hearing loss. Reviewed data showed that, on average, such children benefited significantly more from the BAHA than from reconstructive surgery. Thus, BAHA application appears to be the best option to achieve normal communication and speech and language development in children with bilateral conductive hearing loss. However, in children under the age of three to four years, a conventional solution must be applied, e.g. a bone conductor with a transcutaneous coupling, because they are too young to undergo BAHA implant surgery. In the case of unilateral congenital conductive hearing loss, there is no convincing evidence in the clinical literature for early intervention.

In summary, the BAHA system can be considered a new, indispensable tool for children with bilateral conductive hearing loss.