Hearing Aids and Implants
At Mount Sinai's Center for Hearing and Balance, our audiology specialists provide unparalleled care personalized to your individual needs. Offering the newest technologies in hearing aids, implantable hearing aids, and cochlear implants, our team is committed to helping you enjoy life to the fullest by achieving the best possible hearing.
Hearing aids are sophisticated electronic instruments that digitally manipulate sound to a comfortable and audible level in varied listening environments. Modern hearing aids feature automatic noise management and directional microphones to make conversation easier in noisy settings, as well as accessories that connect with cell phones, MP3 players, and other devices.
Our Center’s board certified doctors of audiology perform thorough evaluations in order to assess whether hearing aids might help you. We offer the full line of the latest technology in hearing aids and assistive listening devices, and our team considers factors such as the severity of hearing loss, your lifestyle, and your cosmetic preferences in choosing the right one for you. The audiologists at Mount Sinai will guide you through selection of devices, device fitting, and follow-up visits in order to help you adjust to amplification and achieve optimal hearing.
Implantable Hearing Aids
For patients living with certain types of hearing loss, the bone-anchored hearing aid, or Baha, can be an excellent rehabilitative option.
The Baha is a device that conducts sound vibrations directly to the inner ear through the bones of the skull. For patients with deafness in one ear, the Baha sends sound signals from the ear on the deaf side—via the bones of the skull—to the ear on the opposite side that is able to hear normally. For patients with conductive (middle ear) hearing loss, the Baha transfers sound directly to that ear via the bones of the skull.
Patients at our Center report very positive experiences with improved hearing using the Baha, which requires a minor surgical procedure in order to place a titanium implant in a small area behind the ear. Patients are typically able to go home the same day. The bone behind the ear generally requires three months to bond with the implant, at which point the patient is fitted with a sound processor that will be programmed by one of our skilled audiologists.
Patients with nerve deafness (sensorineural hearing loss) who do not achieve benefit with hearing aids can be considered for a cochlear implant, which is a computerized device that converts sound waves into electrical signals that stimulate the auditory nerve in order to restore hearing.
At Mount Sinai, our cochlear implant team—comprised of otologists/neurotologists and audiologists—begins by conducting a thorough evaluation that includes radiological tests, hearing tests, and counseling. If a cochlear implant is right for you, surgery is required to place the device within the inner ear, where it bypasses the damaged part of the ear (cochlear) to provide hearing. The procedure lasts approximately two to three hours and is performed under general anesthesia. Patients typically return home the same day and can return to work or school within a week.
Approximately three to four weeks following surgery, your external speech processor is activated and programmed by one of our skilled audiologists. Several programming sessions (particularly in the first year) are required to fine-tune your hearing skills. While sounds will be heard following the first programming session, the ability to understand speech takes a longer period of time.
Cochlear implantation can be a life-transforming experience by giving back the world of sound that you had lost.