Klinik und Poliklinik für Hals-, Nasen- u. Ohrenkranke
Josef-Schneider-Str. 11, 97080 Würzburg
Research foci (and basic equipment-based research projects):
Vibrant Soundbridge middle ear implant for hearing improvement in patients with sensory hearing loss
The adequate therapy for patients suffering from a sensory hearing loss consists of fitting electronic hearing devices. Conventional hearing aids, however, present with significant inherent drawbacks such as insufficient amplification in the high frequency range, problems with the ear mold (feed back, occlusion, external otitis), or distortion of sound with an "unnatural" hearing impression. Methods: The partially implantable middle ear device Vibrant Soundbridge provides a sound wave conversion into mechanical vibrations at the middle ear ossicles using the Floating Mass Transducer (FMT). The audiological advantages are due to a direct moving force to the perilymph via incus and stapes. The Vibrant Soundbridge system is indicated in patients with a medium to severe symmetrical sensory hearing loss and a normal middle ear. Candidates need previous experience with conventional hearing aids without satisfactory results. The operated patients report a "natural" quality of sound and speech, a better hearing perception at high frequencies and the absence of feed back phenomena. Audiological evaluation and questionnair results support the patients subjective hearing impression. The Vibrant Soundbridge improves hearing quality in patients with sensory hearing loss. The hearing implant is indicated in particular in patients that are unable to wear conventional hearing aids.