Ashley Derrington

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When Hearing Aids Are Not Cutting It, Active Middle Ear Implants Might Do.

Posted by Ashley Derrington on December 4, 2018

You may not know they exist or what they are, but active middle ear implants – or AMEIs as they are sometimes referred to – have created new treatment options for some people with hearing loss. An AMEI refers to a surgically implanted hearing device that directly interacts with a part of the middle ear – one or more of the tiny middle ear bones (i.e., middle ear ossicles) – and is “active” in that it is imparting its own energy on the middle ear rather than just being a passive prosthetic. Active middle ear implants (AMEIs) can be either fully implanted with nothing external or semi-implanted with an external portion and an internal portion.

Some argue that part of the clinical value AMEIs offer is derived from “provid[ing] direct drive hearing in which sound is converted directly to vibratory energy and transmitted to the ossicles. …Converting sound directly to energy is more efficient and ultimately may provide improved speech discrimination and preferred sound quality compared to [conventional hearing aids].” [i] 

How do they work?

Active middle ear implants work differently depending on the device, but they all directly drive the middle ear with mechanical energy as opposed to just making sounds louder, like the conventional hearing aids. The direct interaction with the middle ear can help overcome some of the limitations of conventional hearing aids.

Who’s a candidate?

AMEI’s are designed to alleviate a certain type and level of hearing loss.

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Topics: untreated or under-treated, hear everyday, all-day, Safety, live well with hearing loss, hearing loss

What I Wish The Skeptics Knew

Posted by Ashley Derrington on November 16, 2018

When people find out I have the Esteem, their reaction is usually one of two things: amazement and a desire to learn more or skepticism and no aspiration to understand more about my choice in hearing restoration.

I know many people are skeptical about Esteem. Heck, I used to be one of those people! It is new and different. Change is hard to accept sometimes. It was not an easy road to implantation and acceptance of the Esteem, but now that I have it I can’t imagine my life without it. I wish skeptics could see a video montage of my life before and after Esteem. I think you’d see that my overall quality of life has improved significantly, and I’m better off as a result.

I spoke with a friend recently about the benefits of having my Esteem. She mentioned that my descriptions reminded her a lot of her experience with Lasik eye surgery. Great results with the benefit of convenience and being hassle-free. Maybe that’s an image more can understand. I must add, though, that the concepts of convenience and hassle-free only touch the surface of what needs to be known about this life-changing device.

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Topics: testimonial, live well with hearing loss, Esteem, hearing loss, recipients, hear everyday, all-day

Hearing loss is a lifelong journey that can be an emotional roller-coaster. It can be daunting, frustrating, and isolating. It is important to know, however, that you are not alone. You are one of tens of millions of people live with some type and level of hearing loss. There is a broad community of people who understand what you are going through. 
 
That being said, your journey is unique, and how you approach your hearing loss is up to you. Hopefully, with the support and guidance of family, friends, and, of course, hearing healthcare professionals.  
 
The Sounding Board blog is designed to provide some insight on everything from general hearing loss topics to the specific experiences of individuals willing to share some stories from their personal journey.
 
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