:: News 14 Carolina | Hybrid hearing ::


Hybrid hearing

4/9/2007
By: Ivanhoe Newswire

SAN FRANCISCO — “When I was about 40, I started noticing a plugged up feeling, like I had a cold,” says Kathy Barger. But she didn’t have a cold. She actually had a hereditary disease that was causing her to go deaf.

“I couldn’t quite hear as distinctly as before,” Barger says. A hearing aid didn’t work, and more bad news was on the way. She didn’t quality for a cochlear implant.

About 28 million Americans are hard of hearing. Many of them have trouble hearing higher frequencies. Hearing aids don’t always help, and devices like cochlear implants are only reserved for the worst cases because they destroy any hearing patients do have.

Barger had too much hearing left to benefit. Then she learned of a new, hybrid version.

Unlike the traditional model, the hybrid cochlear implant only adds high frequencies, so patients can hear distinct sounds, like consonants. The words “sat” and “fat” can both sound like “ahhh.” The hybrid implant allows patients to tell the difference between “Ss” and “Fs.” Continue

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