Hope for children with hearing loss

Hope for children with hearing loss

Adhear will help those younger than five who cannot be operated for cochlear implants

Dubai: A non-invasive device promises to help infants younger than five years of age, who cannot be operated for hearing implants, regain their auditory sense.

Adhear was launched in the UAE on Monday by Med El, a provider of hearing implant solutions.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 3 per cent of the Middle East’s population suffers from disabling hearing loss. According to a Med El survey in 2016, 4 per cent of the UAE’s population suffers from different degrees of hearing loss.

Patrik Westerskull, inventor of Adhear told Gulf News: “With Adhear, we finally have an easy-to-use and comfortable-to-wear system that provides consistent access to sound and can be worn discreetly behind the ear.” Westerskull said conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem in the outer ear and/or middle ear (ear drum or ossicles). “This type of hearing loss is typically treated with bone conduction implants. However, children younger than five years cannot undergo bone conduction hearing implants. The device is also an option for individuals who have hearing loss in only one ear,” he added.

Adhear comprises two external components — an adhesive adaptor and an audio processor. It has four preset programmes catering to different hearing enviroments. Users have to simply ‘stick, click and hear’, meaning that the gadget requires only seconds to activate.

Explaining how it works, David Raetz, CEO and regional director of Med El, Middle East, said: “The audio processor picks up sound waves, converts them into vibrations and transmits them onto the bone via an advanced adhesive adaptor worn behind the ear. The bone then transfers the vibrations through the skull to the inner ear where they are processed as normal sound. Bone conduction uses the skull bone to transmit sound waves directly to the inner ear. The gadget can also be connnected to such as mobile phones, Bluetooth streamers and accessories, FM receivers and so on.

The price of the gadget is yet to be disclosed.

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