Focusing on You: Solutions for Severe Hearing Loss

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Middle ear implant provides superior sound quality

In this Focusing on You segment, Dr. Hillary Snapp, chief of audiology at UHealth Ear Institute, discusses the benefits of a middle ear implant for patients with severe hearing loss.

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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Narrator: 
Focusing on You: Innovations in Modern Medicine from your team of experts, at UHealth, the University of Miami Health System.

Pam Giganti: 
Danielle Branciforte started wearing hearing aids as a teenager, but they never quite gave her the sound quality she hoped for.

Danielle:
Hearing aids basically amplify all the sound in the room but doesn’t make the sound any clearer. Usually, it just makes it louder.

Pam Giganti:  
Then, in the late 90s, a better option came along when Danielle became one of the first patients to receive a middle ear implant as part of a study at the University of Miami Health System.

Dr. Hilary Snapp: 
The middle ear implant allows us to bypass the external ear, and directly couple to the middle ear, very close to the hearing organ itself.

Danielle:
I said to my husband, “What is that sound I’m hearing?” It was the rain on the roof, and I’d never heard that before. And so the two of us just started bawling like babies.

Pam Giganti:
This device can be life-changing for the millions of people with disabling hearing loss who can’t be helped by traditional hearing aids.

Danielle:
There’s a magnet under my scalp, and it sticks to my scalp with the magnet.

Dr. Hilary Snapp:
This is what picks up the sound and sends it using an electrical signal through that magnetic coupling.

Danielle:
Oh, it’s made a huge difference in my ability to be able to converse with people more comfortably.

Pam Giganti:   
Dr. Hillary Snapp says, “UHealth Ear Institute is one of just a few sites in Florida to offer middle ear implants for patients with severe hearing loss.”

Dr. Hilary Snapp:
Being able to provide new technology and innovative technology to manage hearing loss is really important in a critical aspect of hearing health care as a whole. We’re very proud to be part of that market.

Pam Giganti: 
For Danielle, annual checkups and regular upgrades have ensured that her device continues to evolve with advancing technology.

Dr. Hilary Snapp:
These patients for more than 20 years now have had great success and are really, really pleased in having great outcomes with those devices even as time has gone on and even as their hearing has changed.