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When it comes to replacement body parts, science hasn't quite caught up to science fiction. But for those with severe hearing loss, surgical implants are steadily improving.
Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHAs) and a dental device work for those with one-sided deafness. Sound is picked up on the deaf side and then conducted via the skull bone to the "good" side. These are considered prosthetic devices and several are available.
Cochlear implants help with severe to profound hearing loss by converting sound Into nerve impulses that are sent to the brain. A transmitter is placed under the skin behind the ear, and electrodes are implanted inside the cochlea (a cone-shaped tube in the inner ear).
Recently smaller more precisely placed version of a standard cochlear implant has been developed and is now undergoing FDA trials. Though cochlear implants were previously available only to people under 65, the age cutoff has been lifted, and Medicare does provide coverage.
The Stanford Medicine Online Second Opinion program offers you easy access to our world-class doctors. It’s all done remotely and you don’t have to visit our hospital or one of our clinics for this service. You don’t even need to leave home!