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Hearing Aids for Conductive Hearing Loss: Briefly looking at bone conduction hearing aids

Kimberley Bradshaw - Head of Marketing
Written By:
Kimberley Bradshaw

Head of Customer Content Experience

Paul Harrison Hearing Aid UK Founder & Audiologist
Medically Reviewed By:
Paul Harrison

Audiology Expert & Founder

Updated: 11th March 2024
Hearing Aids for Conductive Hearing Loss

Hearing aids for conductive hearing loss

A brief look into hearing aids for conductive hearing loss, such as bone conduction hearing aids

 

Hearing loss is common and affects millions of people worldwide

Among the various types of hearing loss, conductive hearing loss has its own set of unique difficulties. Fortunately, advancements in audiology have led to the development of specialised hearing aids that address the specific needs of individuals with conductive hearing loss.

In this article, we explore the causes and symptoms of conductive hearing loss and the technologies and innovations behind hearing aids designed to improve auditory experiences for those facing this particular type of hearing loss.

 

What is conductive hearing loss?

Conductive hearing loss is characterised by difficulties in sound transmission through the outer or middle ear. Unlike sensorineural hearing loss, which involves damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve, conductive hearing loss typically develops with issues in the ear canal, eardrum, or middle ear.

The common causes of conductive hearing loss include ear infections, fluid accumulation, earwax blockages, or abnormalities in the ear's structure.

 

Can you get hearing aids for conductive hearing loss?

Are hearing aids used for conductive hearing loss?  Yes, those with conductive hearing loss often experience a reduction in sound volume, muffled sounds, and difficulty hearing faint or distant sounds. Traditional hearing aids designed for sensorineural hearing loss may not be as effective in addressing the specific challenges posed by conductive hearing loss.

Therefore, unique solutions have been developed to enhance sound transmission and improve overall hearing for those with conductive hearing loss.

 

Hearing aids for conductive hearing loss 

Special Hearing Aids for Conductive Hearing Loss

Can hearing aids be used for conductive hearing loss?

 

What are the different types of hearing aids for conductive hearing loss?

Bone conduction hearing aids:  One solution for conductive hearing loss is bone conduction technology. Unlike traditional hearing aids that amplify sounds through the ear canal, bone conduction hearing aids bypass the outer and middle ear entirely. These hearing aids work by transmitting sound vibrations directly to the inner ear through the bones of the skull.

A bone conduction hearing aid typically consists of a small device placed on the bone behind the ear. This device sends vibrations through the bone, stimulating the inner ear and allowing those with conductive hearing loss to perceive sounds more clearly.

 

Contralateral Routing of Signals (CROS) and BICROS hearing aids:  For those with conductive hearing loss in one ear, CROS and BICROS hearing aids offer effective solutions. CROS systems involve placing a microphone on the impaired ear and transmitting the sound to the better-hearing ear. This helps individuals perceive sounds from both sides, improving spatial awareness and overall hearing experience.

BiCROS, on the other hand, uses two microphones, one on each ear, to enhance the reception of sounds. This technology supports conductive hearing loss in both ears, allowing them to better engage in conversations and perceive sounds from various directions.

 

Bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA) hearing aids:  These provide an alternative for those with conductive hearing loss caused by issues in the middle ear, such as chronic ear infections or malformations. BAHA involves surgically implanting a small device into the bone behind the ear, which then transmits vibrations directly to the inner ear. This bypasses the damaged middle ear components, offering a more direct pathway for sound conduction.

 

Benefits of wearing conductive hearing loss aids

Wearing hearing aids for conductive hearing loss offers many benefits and significantly improves daily life. These devices enhance sound transmission through the outer or middle ear, addressing issues like ear infections, fluid buildup, or structural abnormalities. By amplifying and clarifying sounds, hearing aids restore reduced auditory capabilities, facilitating clearer communication and reducing social isolation. 

 

What are the best hearing aids for conductive hearing loss?

Hearing aids for conductive hearing loss have undergone significant advancements, offering a range of options to address the unique challenges faced by individuals with issues in the outer or middle ear. From bone conduction technology to unique systems like CROS and BAHA, such devices have transformed the lives of many, providing enhanced auditory experiences and improved quality of life.

As technology continues to evolve, the future holds even more promise for those with conductive hearing loss. Ongoing research and innovation in the field of audiology aim to refine existing technologies and introduce new solutions, ultimately ensuring that everyone, regardless of their hearing challenges, can fully participate in the world of sound.

 

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Are hearing aids good for conductive hearing loss?

Hearing aids can help with conductive hearing loss.  We don't offer bone-conduction hearing aids or bone-anchored hearing aids, but we do have CROS and BICROS solutions available.  However, if you think you may have conductive hearing loss, you must book an appointment with your local GP. 

They will then refer you to your ENT department or an audiologist in your area.  Your audiologist will decide the best solution for your hearing loss and develop a future hearing healthcare plan accordingly.

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This article was written by Kimberley Bradshaw

Meet Kimberley Bradshaw , Head of Customer Content Experience

By working closely with the Hearing Aid UK audiologists, experts and advisers, she develops the online content, so that the customer's experience is the best it can be. 

Kimberley's medical representation has allowed her to focus on the importance of hearing healthcare and explore the many ways in which hearing loss and its awareness can be improved.

She has collaborated and written about hearing healthcare for several online publications.

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