What is bone conduction hearing?
There are two ways to hear. The first is when sounds travel to our eardrums through the ear canal. This way of hearing is called air conduction.
Bone conduction offers a second way to hear, when sound vibrations travel through bones in our head. These vibrations bypass the eardrum and transmit sounds straight to the cochlea, which transforms the sounds into a message for our brain.
Both types of hearing work together to help us hear and perceive sound.
How bone conduction implants work
A bone conduction implant system can bypass damaged or blocked parts of the ear and deliver sound vibrations directly to the inner ear. These vibrations become sounds our brain can understand.
Bone conduction implants work by using the body's natural ability to conduct sound. They are designed to provide a more complete listening experience for people with single-sided hearing loss, conductive hearing loss or mixed hearing loss.
There are three parts to a bone conduction system:
a small titanium implant that is surgically inserted in the bone behind the ear
an abutment or a magnet that connects the implant to the sound processor
an external sound processor.
Together, these parts bypass the section of the ear that isn't working, sending sound vibrations directly through the bone to the hearing organ in the cochlea.