We have BTE, ITE, CIC and CRT hearing aids but have you ever heard of an ITM (In-the-Mouth) hearing device?
Scientists in Britain have developed a hearing aid device that slots onto the back teeth to help people who are deaf in one ear. The latest stats mention that about one in ten adults suffer from some degree of single-sided hearing loss, with about 10,000 new cases of complete deafness being reported every year.
This new hearing aid is called the "SoundBite" and will allow the re-routing of sounds from the deaf ear to the working one through the bones in the head. The device is roughly the size of half a matchstick and loops over the patients left or right back teeth, sort of like a wire for a dental plate.
It is noteworthy to mention that some types of hearing aids already use bone-conduction (BAHA) technology but recent studies showed that this new device improved the ability of patients to understand speech in noisy environments by an average of 25% or more. Also the SoundBite does not require surgery.
Currently there are some year long trials taking part in locations across Europe and it is FDA approved in the United States, but it is not known when the technology might be available in Canada.
For more information on the "SoundBite" check out this video:
Also, here is an article from the Wall Street Journal worth looking at as well.
Obviously the SoundBite is not for everyone but if you or someone you know is dealing with hearing loss your best bet is to set up an appointment and speak directly to one of our Hearing Professionals.