Some people with hearing loss are not good candidates for standard hearing aids, and surgically inserted devices may help restore their hearing. A cochlear implant is a device that helps the brain perceive sound, and a bone-conduction implant is a device that activates hearing via skull vibration.
Health Quality Ontario looked at how safe and effective these devices are for three types of hearing loss: single-sided deafness, which is profound sensorineural hearing loss (caused by damage to the organ or the nerve in the inner ear) or hearing that is not functional in one ear; conductive hearing loss, caused by a mechanical problem with the ear’s ability to conduct sound vibrations; and mixed hearing loss, which is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
We also looked at the cost-effectiveness and budget impact of publicly funding cochlear and bone-conduction implants, and we talked with people with single-sided deafness, conductive hearing loss and mixed hearing loss to learn about their experiences, preferences and values.
Read the full Health Technology Assessment report for more information.