Implantable Hearing Devices include middle ear implants, bone anchored hearing aids, cochlear implants and brainstem implants. The initial consultation and workup can be done in Mackay however, these devices are NOT currently implanted in Mackay, so you will need to travel to either Townsville or Brisbane for the definitive procedure.
For hearing impaired persons there are many disadvantages to conventional hearing aids such as discomfort, poor fitting, wax impaction, poor sound quality, lack of high frequency benefit, feedback or background noise amplification.
The advantages of an implantable device include reduction or elimination or occlusion effect (blockage) and feedback, improved comfort (particularly for swimmers) and improved sound by direct stimulation. The disadvantages for having an implantable device include cost, risks associated with undergoing a surgical procedure and potential to worsen residual hearing. These factors will be discussed with you in detail at your consultation. There are various implantable devices and a complete audiological assessment by a suitably qualified audiologist is recommended to determine the nature of your hearing loss and what is the best option for you. The cochlear implantation assessment process involves a full audiological assessment, CT scan and/or MRI scan with subsequent vestibular and balance assessment, psychological review and depending upon age, a geriatric assessment. The Brisbane or Townsville surgeon will review these reports and determine suitability for surgery. The post-operative audiological rehabilitation for candidates is long and exhaustive, particularly for those with longer periods of hearing deprivation.