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New implantable hearing device approved

By Tim Sandle     Mar 27, 2014 in Health
The first implantable device for people with severe or profound sensorineural hearing loss of high-frequency sounds in both ears has been approved.
The device has been passed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The device is intended for people who cannot hear high frequency sounds but who can hear low-frequency sounds with or without a hearing aid.
The new gadget is called the Nucleus Hybrid L24 Cochlear Implant System. The designers also think that the device may help those with this specific kind of hearing loss who do not benefit from conventional hearing aids.
The Nucleus Hybrid L24 Cochlear Implant System combines the functions of a cochlear implant and a hearing aid. This electronic device consists of an external microphone and speech processor that picks up sounds from the environment and converts them into electrical impulses. The impulses are transmitted to the cochlea through a small bundle of implanted electrodes, creating a sense of sound that the user learns to associate with the mid- and high-frequency sounds they remember.
The condition, sensorineural hearing loss, is the most common form of hearing loss and occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea). It may be caused by aging, heredity, exposure to loud noise, drugs that are toxic to the inner ear (e.g., antibiotics), and certain other illnesses.
The Nucleus Hybrid L24 Cochlear Implant System is manufactured by Cochlear Ltd., headquartered in New South Wales, Australia.
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