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Hearing more thanks to innovative implant

© Oticon Medical

Minimally invasive anchoring and a better listening experience: a new cochlear implant for deaf or hearing-impaired people is being employed in the Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg.

The Department of Oto-Rhino Laryngology at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg, together with the Cochlear Implant Center Freiburg (ICF), is one of the largest centers in Europe for supplying deaf patients with cochlear implants (CI). The ICF is one of the first centers in Germany to employ a new CI system from Oticon, which can be used on patients with severe hearing loss. It is characterized especially by its analytical ambient sound processor and minimally invasive head attachment. "What's innovative about this CI system is the processor's scene analysis, which even offers speech comprehension if noise, such as wind, occurs," says Prof. Dr. Roland Laszig, Medical Director of the Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg. The sound processor is equipped with special adaptive software: without need of a remote control, which was used in previous models, the software ensures that the CI system constantly adapts to changing listening environments.

The anchoring is also optimized in comparison to other implants. The implant is attached to the patient's head using only two small screws. Thus it is no longer necessary to anchor the implant in the cranial bone by drilling. This minimally invasive method shortens the operation's duration and minimizes possible risks during the healing process. "This new cochlear implant not only has the advantage of offering patients better hearing, but inserting and wearing the CIs is also far more comfortable," says Prof. Laszig. With the new cochlear implant from Oticon, along with those from Cochlear, Medel and Advanced Bionics, the ICF now offers a full selection of the CIs currently on the market from all the main suppliers.

What are Cochlear Implants?

A cochlear implant (CI) is an inner ear implant that enables children with congenital deafness to learn to hear and speak. Thanks to the implant, even children and adults with high hearing impairment can regain their auditory sense. It converts spoken words and other acoustic signals into electrical impulses, which stimulate the auditory nerve in the cochlea. Moreover, every CI system includes a transmitter coil and a sound processor, worn behind the ear just like a hearing device. The CI allows innately deaf children as well as highly hearing-impaired children and adults to enter the world of hearing and speaking.

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