Scottish Woman Receives Hearing ‘Miracle’ With New Ear Implant

A woman from Scotland has heard birds singing outside her window for the first time in several years, thanks to a new type of hearing device.

Susan Rae, of Dundee, has become the first ever patient in the country to be fitted with the “Vibrant Soundbridge” implant and her hearing has been completely restored.

Mrs Rae said: “It was a miracle. The advantages were immediately obvious to me with improved and clearer hearing, and no feedback on the aid itself.

“I can even hear the birds outside my window, which is something I have not been able to hear for a number of years and, although this may seem a small thing to an average person, it is a wonderful thing to me.”

Chronically infected

The 52-year-old previously suffered from 75% hearing loss but could not use normal hearing aids because her ears were chronically infected.

She has endured severe hearing loss since she was 29-years-old however, that has all now changed after she was fitted with an implant that mimics the function of the ear canal.

Doctors at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee fitted the soundbridge which consists of an internal implant, which mechanically vibrates the middle ear structure; and an audio processor, which is worn on the head and disguised by hair.

The implant can be used on patients that cannot use conventional hearing aids due to ear canal infections, and NHS bosses claim it can be used on children too.

Huge success

Doctor Stephen Jones, who introduced Mrs Rae to the hearing device, said: “When I learned what the ‘Vibrant Soundbridge’ could offer patients I was keen to develop a service here in Tayside. Now that Mrs Rae has had our first implant fitted and it has been activated, I am delighted that it has been such a success and I hope that it will be the first of many.”

The patient had the device fitted to her right ear at the end of 2011 and another one will be fitted to her left ear soon.