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Middle Ear Implant Technology

Middle ear implants, or MEI, are implantable alternatives to hearing aids. These devices can be used to treat patients with sensorineural hearing loss. In rare circumstances, these implants can be helpful for patients with conductive or mixed hearing loss, if conventional hearing aids cannot be used.

Most middle ear implants are partially or semi-implanted. The devices consist of two components, an internal and an external part.

The internal, implanted part consists of:

  • A radio frequency receiver
  • Electronic components, and  
  • A mechanical vibrator

The external part is an audio processor that includes the:

  • Microphone
  • Speech processor, and
  • Audio frequency transmitter

A fully implantable MEI is also available. All of its components, including the battery and microphone, can be implanted. 

Patients who are candidates for middle ear implants should be free of significant middle ear disease or infection. Hearing loss should be stable, and word recognition scores should be sufficient to allow adequate discrimination of sounds.

About Us

The Hearing Center of Excellence fosters and promotes the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, rehabilitation and research of hearing loss and auditory injury. It supports the development, exchange and adoption of best practices, research, measures of effectiveness and clinical care guidelines to reduce the prevalence and cost of hearing loss and tinnitus among Warriors and Veterans. Read more

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