Common Misconceptions and Concerns with the Esteem® Active Middle Ear Implant.

Posted by Amy Pajula on December 12, 2018

As a proud member of the hearing loss community, a hearing aid user for nearly three decades, and a happy bilateral Esteem® recipient, I am intimately familiar with the journey a person takes as they explore their hearing loss and the options available to them. I know the desire to find a better solution, one that works better for you and doesn’t seem to get in the way as much as it helps.  

After I became an Esteem® recipient, I became an Esteem® Counselor with Envoy Medical. I have worked with hundreds of other Esteem® recipients, and have probably talked to thousands of people with hearing loss looking for something more than a hearing aid.

Until recently, hearing aids were really the only treatment option for people diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss. Over the last few decades, more technologies have come along for different types and levels of hearing loss. 

Active Middle Ear Implants are one of those relatively newer solutions for people with a certain level of sensorineural hearing loss. The Esteem® is the only fully implanted active middle ear implant FDA approved and commercially available in the United States.

The following are some common questions or concerns that I hear from people on looking into the Esteem® in the midst of their hearing loss journey.

Why not just get another hearing aid?

First, the Esteem® is only for those people who have tried a well-fit hearing aid for at least 30 days. If a hearing aid works for you, great! The Esteem® is something more and is geared towards people who have tried hearing aids and don’t get what they want out of them. They need something more.

Second, if you have tried hearing aids and are not satisfied, it is important to understand why. 

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Topics: Esteem, hearing loss, live well with hearing loss, Amy

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

Hearing the Sights and Sounds of Life

Posted by Envoy Medical Staff Member on November 27, 2018

 

Before Jill McAlister and Marcie Pratt went skydiving together, they had never met. But, the two shared more in common than they would have believed. They both have congenital hearing loss, with late diagnosis due to several years of misdiagnosis as young children; they are both Esteem recipients; and now, they’ve jumped out of an airplane together.

Jill and Marcie met on a trip to San Diego to give a presentation to an advisory panel of otologists about their success with their Esteems. At the meeting, both women got to reconnect with the surgeons who performed their implant surgeries, Dr. Jack Shohet and Dr. Michael Seidman, in a heart-warming reunion. Jill and Marcie also took questions from the audience – a feat that would have been impossible for both women just a few years ago.

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Topics: Esteem, hearing loss, recipients, skydiving, testimonial, live well with hearing loss

What to expect. A surgeon's perspective.

Posted by Envoy Medical Staff Member on November 23, 2018

Can you imagine having your cake and eating it too? That might be what you can expect with the Esteem® hearing implant. The Esteem® is a hearing solution that alleviates your hearing loss, but without the external device and without the hassles or frustrations of hearing aids – an all day, everyday hearing solution that works with you and your lifestyle.

If you’re curious about what to expect from the Esteem® procedure, you’re in luck. Here to share insight into the procedure is Dr. Jack Shohet, a neurotologist who has completed over 300 Esteem® cases, more than any other active surgeon in the U.S.

1.     What is the Esteem implant procedure like?

Surprising to some, the Esteem® implant procedure is actually an

 outpatient procedure, meaning patients come in and out of the office on the same day. The whole process takes only several hours - patients are administered general anesthesia, we place the implant components and then patients are free to go.

2.     Can you describe the average recovery process?

After the initial procedure, patients 

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

Taking Charge of Hearing Loss: Be Your Own Hearing Advocate!

Posted by Envoy Medical Staff Member on November 20, 2018

Senior couple in a foreign city using a road map. Mature couple on a vacation using map for directions.

Hearing loss often creeps up on us slowly over time. We start by turning the volume up on the TV, the phone and the radio. Over time it can progress to a point of frustration, as “What?” becomes a more constant word in our vocabulary. Before long, it can start to have a negative impact on our relationships and how we function.

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

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

Back to School with the Esteem Hearing Implant

Posted by Envoy Medical Staff Member on August 17, 2018

Article written by an actual Esteem patient. He chooses to remain anonymous, but wanted people to understand how Esteem helped changed his life. (And with Esteem, no one needs to know you have it implanted.)

school work

School is not a fun place to be when you struggle with hearing loss. The worst is when a teacher calls on you, or someone is trying to ask you for a pencil, and they think you are ignoring them. It's also incredibly difficult to participate in a spelling bee when you can't hear the word you're supposed to be spelling. The truth is, I never wanted to wear hearing aids because I wanted to fit in and just be like everyone else. I didn't want to have to sit in the front of every class or be treated differently. The reality of the situation is that kids can be cruel and it's tough to grow in an environment where you are self-conscious about your hearing loss.  I was so self-conscious of wearing hearing aids that I let my education suffer as a result. I was constantly playing catch up and never felt like I was reaching my potential. I am convinced my head is full of grey hairs from being so stressed out all of the time in class because I never knew if someone was calling me or not. Quite frankly, I was embarrassed to admit that something was wrong with me. It got to the point where I was more focused on trying to hide my hearing loss than actually learning. Over time I learned to adapt and find ways to get through school, and learned what I needed to learn. Whether it was reading lips or being overly alert, I did what I had to do to get by.

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Topics: hearing loss, Esteem, recipients, testimonial, live well with hearing loss

Ten Summer Activities Made Easier with the Esteem

Posted by Envoy Medical Staff Member on June 1, 2018

Hearing aids can be a big-time pain in the summer and get in the way of enjoying your favorite summer activities. Moisture of any kind generally doesn’t do well with hearing aids, so humidity, sweat, summer rain showers, or having fun around water can spell trouble for your hearing aids. It usually means you either don’t participate, or participate but don’t hear. Below are ten summer activities made infinitely easier with the Esteem!

1. Biking. Comfortably wear a bike helmet and not worry about your hearing aid falling out on the road/trail or malfunctioning from perspiration.

2. Boating and swimming. You don’t have to worry about damaging your Esteem around water. Everything is internal, so nothing can get ruined from water. You can jump in and swim or waterski without even thinking about your Esteem. Or maybe you are watching kids or grandkids and need to be able to hear at all times and don’t want to worry about an external hearing aid falling out or being ruined from water exposure. It’s a delight not to have to worry about your hearing aids with the Esteem. sail boat

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

Using your Esteem Near Water, While Swimming, and While Showering

Posted by Envoy Medical Staff Member on August 17, 2017

A conventional hearing aid can’t get wet. As models climb in price and add new features, a user still risks destroying a hearing aid when enjoying the lake or showering. If you enjoy swimming, you’re forced with the single option of leaving the hearing aid on your towel, giving up your aided-hearing while swimming, and sacrificing your situational awareness.

Envoy Medical knows how frustrating and nerve-racking this aspect of hearing loss treatment can be, and thanks to the Esteem, our users no longer need to give up hearing around water.

swimming in pool

For all Esteem users, the transition from dry to wet environments is seamless. This summer when you’re at the pool teaching your kids to swim, or enjoying a run through the sprinkler during a hot day, don’t worry about remembering to take your hearing aid out or, on the other hand, being able to hear when your hearing aid isn’t in your ear because you don’t want it to get wet.

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Topics: live well with hearing loss, Esteem, Safety, 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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