An implantable hearing aid (IHA), in which the direct driving of the stapes by a ceramic vibrator is a fundamental mechanism, was applied to 24 patients with mixed hearing loss of varying degree due to chronic otitis media. The instrument used in the present study was a partial IHA, in which only the vibrator and secondary coil were implanted and the remaining components were packed in a unit to be located behind the auricle. All the patients reported that quality of sound provided by the IHA was natural, clear, and intelligible without causing fatigue with long use. Speech discrimination tests conducted under conditions with background noise demonstrated that speech perception with the partial IHA was superior to that with a conventional hearing aid. These advantages may be ascribed to the direct oscillation of the stapes by the piezoelectric element.
© 1990, The American Journal of Otology, Inc.