There are six important points to be aware of when you are making your choice:
At USAIS we offer devices made by 3 main bone conduction hearing device and middle ear implant manufacturers (Cochlear, MED-EL and Oticon Medical). All of the manufacturers have more than one type of device. We have complete confidence in all the manufacturers. We only offer a choice of device if there is more than one device suitable for your degree and type of hearing loss. It doesn’t make any difference to us which one you choose if more than one device is suitable. You might find the features of one of the devices may be better for you and your lifestyle.
We will let you know if your hearing loss or medical history suits one device better than another. Outcomes vary from person to person with all hearing implants. If we offer you a choice of device it means that either device will be appropriate for your hearing loss and medical condition. Overall none of the devices or internal parts are more robust or reliable than the others.
There are non-surgical options for bone conduction hearing devices (BCHD) and you can choose to use these long term. For a few adults and for young children non–surgical options may be advised by the team.
Whichever device you have implanted, you can only use their external equipment. Manufacturers work hard to produce exciting and innovative developments in their products and have different accessories available. Not all the options and accessories come as standard so you will need to check the ‘What’s in the kit’ pages to see what you get and what you might have to buy separately.
There are different fitting methods for bone conduction hearing device (BCHD). The fitting may be non-surgical fitting with a softband or headband. Surgical fittings may be a direct connection between the internal implanted fixture and the external processor or the external processor can be held on with a magnet. Depending on the nature and degree of your hearing loss you may be offered one or more types of fitting for your BCHD.
Middle ear implants all have a surgically implanted part and the external processor is held on with a magnet.
There may be one device (BCHD or MEI) that is more suited to your degree or type of hearing loss or the condition causing your hearing loss. The surgeon will let you know which device or devices are best for you. They will discuss the risks and benefits of the surgery for each device with you. They may recommend that you or your child has a non-surgical fitting for a period of time or long term.
There is no rush to decide which device you want if offered a choice. You will have a 14 day trial with a bone conduction hearing device (BCHD) using a headband or softband fitting. If there is a choice of BCHD you can have the opportunity to listen with and see both manufacturers’ devices. If we are confident that we can help you hear better or more consistently with a bone conduction hearing device or a middle ear implant than you hear with hearing aids then we will ask you to decide if you want to go ahead. This will be at your end of assessment appointment and if offered a choice of devices you will choose which one you want. You will also choose the colour for the external parts (processor) during this session. There will be opportunity to ask questions.