Brent Edwards Ph. D., Menlo Park, Kalifornien (USA)
“Make light, not sound: Innovations in audibility with laser-driven hearing”
Current acoustic hearing aids exhibit several limitations to audibility, including limitations to high-frequency output levels, limitations to low-frequency output levels in an open fitting, and limitations to maximum gain before feedback in an open fitting. In addition to affecting sound quality and speech understanding, these limitations affect the amount of information available to the auditory system for complex auditory processing. All of the aforementioned limitations to audibility are due to the nature of the acoustic output of hearing aids, suggesting that a solution to these limitations could be a hearing aid that compensates for hearing loss without generating an acoustic signal.
This talk will detail a new category of hearing aid that does not produce an acoustic output but instead uses a transducer to vibrate the eardrum directly, using light to transmit the audio signal to the transducer. Information on the technical details of this contact hearing aid will be provided along with performance from temporal bone studies and results from a multi-site clinical study.