Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Hearing Aid Approved

For the first time, the FDA has given its OK to a hearing aid that has no externally visible components. The surgically implantable hearing system is called the Esteem. The device's components can all be implanted under the skin. That includes a sound processor, a sensor and a driver. A study showed 93% of the patients who received the implantable hearing device had as good or better hearing than they had had with an external hearing aid. However, there are some side effects: 7% of people taking part in the study experienced facial paralysis and 42% had their taste affected. Fortunately, most of those problems went away within a year. The Esteem is made by Enovy Medical based out of St. Paul, Minnesota.