Date: Monday 13th May, 2013
A 52-year-old female from Dundee, Scotland has become the very first patient in the country to be fitted with an innovative hearing device.
Susan Rae, who suffers from 75% hearing loss, has been given the new “Vibrant Soundbridge” implant and the results have been dubbed a ‘miracle.’
The patient has had her hearing completely restored and for the first time in several years, she can now enjoy the simple pleasures in life, like the birds singing outside her window.
Mrs Rae said: “It was a miracle. The advantages were immediately obvious to me with improved and clearer hearing, and no feedback on the aid itself.
“My husband can speak to me at a normal level of speech, he can turn the volume of the television to a level neither of us could ever have imagined and I can hold conversations with my family on the phone without having to use the speaker phone. Even being able to hold a discussion with my grandson without him having to shout at me is a blessing.”
Why is the “Vibrant Soundbridge” so different?
The implant can be fitted in patients that cannot wear conventional hearing aids because of ear canal infections.
Mrs Rae could not use normal hearing devices due to her ears being chronically infected. She had to endure severe hearing loss since she was 29-years-old but the “Vibrant Soundbridge” has offered her a solution.
The implant can also be used on children too.
How does it work?
The device contains an internal implant which mechanically vibrates the middle ear structure, as well as an audio processor which is worn on the head. This can be camouflaged with the wearer’s hair.
Doctor Stephen Jones, an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, informed the patient about the hearing device.
He said: “When I learned what the ‘Vibrant Soundbridge’ could offer patients I was keen to develop a service here in Tayside. Now that Mrs Rae has had our first implant fitted and it has been activated, I am delighted that it has been such a success and I hope that it will be the first of many.”
Mrs Rae added: “I can actually feel my confidence returning day by day. I used to withdraw from group conversations and avoided such situations as too many people speaking at once meant I could not make out what was being said. This is not a problem for me now – I’ve got my life back.”