An Innovative Hearing System
Hearing loss, of any kind, can reduce quality of life if not treated properly, but this does not have to be the case. A hearing system especially adapted to your type of hearing loss helps you actively experience and enjoy the sounds of daily life.
The Vibrant Soundbridge is an alternative to conventional hearing aids. Thousands of Soundbridge users worldwide are now not only able to hear but also understand conversations, communicate with family and friends and enjoy listening in a wide range of situations.
This unique hearing implant directly stimulates middle ear structures in much the same way as normal sound moves them when it enters the ear canal. This "direct drive" stimulation enables excellent sound quality without blocking the ear canal.
The Vibrant Soundbridge consists of an external and an internal part. The external part, an audio processor, is worn on the head, and can often be discretely hidden under the user's hair. The internal part is an implant which mechanically vibrates middle ear structures. These vibrations can be amplified and adjusted to optimally compensate for different degrees of hearing loss.
- Sounds are picked up by the microphone of the audio processor.
The audio processor is held over the implant by magnetic
attraction to a magnet in the implanted part.
- The audio processor converts sounds into electrical signals.
- These signals are transmitted across the skin to the implant.
- The implant relays the signal further to the FMT (Floating Mass
Transducer). The FMT is the core component of the system and is
smaller than a grain of rice.
- The FMT converts the signal into mechanical vibrations that directly
drive a middle ear structure (e.g. the ossicular chain) and cause it
- These vibrations then conduct sound to the inner ear and on to the
brain where they are perceived as sound.
How is the Vibrant Soundbridge Different from a Hearing Aid?
The Vibrant Soundbridge is a unique middle ear implant system. It offers new ways to make sound audible and is an innovative and proven alternative to conventional hearing devices.
It Works Differently
Unlike a hearing aid which amplifies sound, the Vibrant Soundbridge converts sound into mechanical vibrations. This mechanical energy is used to directly stimulate middle ear structures for exceptional sound perception, particularly in the high frequencies. The ear canal remains completely open.
It Sounds Different
The Vibrant Soundbridge features "direct drive," which offers improved hearing quality and speech understanding, particularly in noisy surroundings. Users describe the sound quality as more natural, including the sound of their own voice.
It Looks Different
The Vibrant Soundbridge consists of a non-visible implant underneath the skin and an audio processor worn on the head in the area behind the ear. The special design of the Vibrant Soundbridge allows the external audio processor to be hidden discreetly and comfortably under the hair. The sleek design of the audio processor is available in different colors, providing you with the best option of matching your hair color.
Hearing Preservation — The MED-EL Philosophy
MED-EL's core philosophy is to preserve any natural hearing ability while restoring impaired function. Implantation of a Vibrant Soundbridge system does not interfere with the natural ability of the hearing organ in any way and the residual hearing remains unchanged. With the Vibrant Soundbridge, the middle ear structures are not damaged or altered in any way and remain completely intact.
The Vibrant Soundbridge system is a semi-implantable middle ear hearing system. This means that the internal part of the Vibrant Soundbridge is implanted under the skin in the area behind the ear. The procedure normally takes one to two hours and is performed under either general or local anesthesia. After that, no further intervention is necessary. All serviceable parts of the Vibrant Soundbridge are located in the external audio processor. The implantation is a routine procedure for experienced ENT surgeons and is performed in hundreds of clinics around the world. If you wish to have more information, your surgeon will fully counsel you on the details of the implantation.
For more information about cochlear implants, to find out if you might be a candidate for this device, or for a list of cochlear implant centers near you, please visit www.medel.com.