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The Hidden Complications of Single-Sided Deafness
Date:9/4/2013

ance. Imagine trying to cross a busy street without the ability to hear where traffic is coming from. Or imagine knowing that a family member is calling your name in the house but having no concept of where they are. The hazards of daily life can sneak up on people with SSD.

All these effects become overwhelming for many people with SSD. When the social stigmas and frustrations become too much, many withdraw from society and the activities they love. They don't reach out for help because they think they should be able to manage. Some try to turn to traditional hearing aids, but these often aren't the solution because they simply amplify sound.  If the SSD sufferer's problem is that the inner ear or cochlea isn't functional or if there are significant problems with middle ear function, amplification won't help.

The good news is that there are solutions available.  Some devices can transmit sound waves via the bones or teeth ("bone conduction") to bypass problems and reach a functioning inner ear.  Several bone-conduction options involve surgical insertion of an implant into the patient's skull with an attached sound processor.  An alternative is non-surgical and transmits sound to the inner ear without surgery via imperceptible vibrations in the teeth.  This method uses a small, individually fit device placed around the back, upper molars that receives signals from a tiny device placed behind the impaired ear. The system has been shown to restore the perception of bilateral hearing and address consequences of SSD.

Media Contact: Matthew Brokaw, Sonitus Medical, Inc., 650-838-0325, info@sonitusmedical.com

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