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Esteem implantable hearing aid from Envoy Medical

Envoy Medical’s Esteem is the world’s first implantable hearing aid. It doesn’t use a microphone and a speaker like a traditional hearing aid. There is nothing at all in your ear, the aid is completely internal and is therefore invisible. You can watch Envoy’s video to get a better idea of what it is about.

The Esteem is not a cochlear implant. A CI is fitted to those with profound hearing loss and is fitted in the inner ear whereas the Esteem is for those with severe (or less) hearing loss and is fitted in the middle ear. It seems to consist of a number of small pieces rather than just being a single device, with each being fitted to different parts of the middle ear – see this for more.

The device received FDA approval earlier this year.

Apparently you can swim with it in. It has an off switch and the battery lasts for up to 4 years. Sounds cool but it’ll set you back somewhere in the region of $30,000. Some things to note before you splash your hard-earned, the Envoy site has some warning and precautions on it: you should avoid contact sports and high pressure and you can’t have an MRI – full list here.

Here’s an old, but interesting, thread on AllDeaf with posts from some people who have tried it out and Hearing Mojo has a good piece on it too.

What do you think? Would you consider an implant and go under the knife to get better hearing?