Otosclerosis is a common cause of conductive hearing loss in adults. It is a hereditary disorder that causes an abnormal growth of bone around the tiny bones of hearing, resulting in a loss of vibrational energy in the system and subsequent slowly progressive hearing loss. Though this problem can often be remedied through the use of a hearing aid, it is also one of the few causes of hearing loss that can be surgically reversed.
Using state-of-the-art microsurgical techniques and the KTP laser, Dr. Mason performs over 60 laser stapedotomy procedures per year, frequently eliminating the need for a hearing aid.
For children and adults with severe to profound hearing loss, the use of conventional hearing aids is often frustrating at best and completely useless at worst. For children, this can lead to significant difficulties with oral speech and language development. For adults and the elderly, severe hearing loss can lead to isolation from family and friends, difficulty in the workplace, and overall significantly reduced quality of life.
A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that bypasses the damaged portions of the inner ear to directly stimulate the hearing nerve. The implant not only restores a patient's ability to hear sounds at normal conversational levels, but it also has the ability to restore the "clarity" of perceived speech sounds, thereby improving the ability to understand speech.
Dr. Mason started the Baystate Medical Center Cochlear Implant Program in 2003, and performs approximately 35 implant procedures per year on children and adults ranging in age from 12 months to 91 years. Our program currently uses implants manufactured by Cochlear Corporation and Advanced Bionics.
Read more about the Cochlear Implant Program:
- Bilateral Cochlear Implants Praised (from Clarke Speaks: Published by Clarke School for the Deaf • Center for Oral Education)
Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA)
For patients with single-sided deafness and hearing loss accompanied by problems in the ear canal, conventional hearing aids are often a poor solution.
A BAHA device involves the implantation of a titanium post behind the ear and the use of a specialized hearing device that captures sound and transmits it through the titanium post in to the bone surrounding the inner ear.
This has the potential to restore sound awareness on the implanted side without the need for anything in the ear itself.