Have you – or has someone you know – lost the ability to hear on one side?

If so, you’re not alone. Over 50,000 individuals are diagnosed with “Single Sided Deafness” (SSD) every year in the U.S.

TransEar is an elegant, affordable, and effective answer to SSD. It looks like a conventional BTE (Behind-the Ear) hearing aid, but instead of simply amplifying sound, it relies on bone conduction to transmit the sound to the better ear.

A Simple, Elegant Solution to Single Sided Deafness

Single Sided Deafness is characterized by a significant sensorineural hearing loss in one ear, and normal hearing for most speech frequencies in the opposite ear. It is also referred to as a unilateral hearing loss.

TransEar is not the first bone conduction hearing aid, but it is the first to overcome Single Sided Deafness:

Without surgery

Without bulky headbands

Without having to wear another hearing aid in the "good" ear

How does TransEar work?

Just like a conventional hearing aid, a custom shell is made to fit in the ear canal. However, unlike a conventional aid that would simply amplify the sound, TransEar has a miniature oscillator embedded in the shell. The oscillator is positioned in the shell in such a way that it makes contact with the bony portion of the ear canal. When sound is “received” on the side of the non-functioning ear, it’s converted to mechanical energy that drives the oscillator. Those signals are then transferred via the bones of the skull to the cochlea in the opposite ear.

All of this happens nearly instantaneously, but your brain knows the difference. It learns to distinguish between sounds coming in on the side of the good ear versus sounds coming in from the opposite side.

The ability to determine the specific source of a sound – left side / right side, front / back, and everything in between – is called sound localization, and many TransEar users report that they have regained this ability with TransEar.

Will TransEar work for me?

TransEar’s effectiveness depends on a specific threshold of hearing in the “better” ear, so your hearing healthcare professional will evaluate your hearing in both ears. Each patient’s physiology and medical conditions may also be factors in the fitting.

Where can I get a TransEar?

TransEar is available only through licensed hearing healthcare professionals in the United States. It received FDA approval in mid-2005. For more information tell your healthcare provider to contact Ear Technology Corporation at 1-888-382-9327.

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is TransEar?

TransEar is a bone conduction hearing instrument designed specifically for unilateral hearing loss, often called single-sided-deafness (SSD). It consists of three parts: a small, but sophisticated behind-the-ear digital hearing aid, which is joined by a thin flexible connector wire to a “transfer unit” – a small custom acrylic half-shell which contains a miniature oscillator.

These components are fit on and in the ear that has no hearing. Using bone conduction, the oscillator conducts vibrations across the skull to the good cochlea on the other side.

How does TransEar work?

Sounds from the non-hearing side are picked up by the microphone of TransEar’s processor. Unlike a traditional hearing aid (which amplifies sound and passes it to a small speaker), TransEar’s processor converts sound into electrical energy, which drives a small electro-mechanical oscillator which is placed near the canal tip of a small acrylic shell (referred to as a half-shell in the hearing healthcare industry). The transfer unit is custom made by laser to exactly fit the user’s ear.

The oscillations are transferred by the bony portion of the ear canal, through the bones of the skull to the good ear, where the cochlea processes the energy which the brain interprets as sound.

Will TransEar work for me?

If you have a normal, non-draining ear canal on the deaf side and good hearing on the other side, TransEar should work well for you. The “good ear” should show no greater than 30 dB of sensorineural loss through 2000 Hz.

Your hearing healthcare professional will evaluate your hearing in both ears and will compare that against TransEar’s fitting range. Each patient’s physiology and medical conditions may also be factors in the fitting.

How well will I hear on my deaf side?

Every user’s experience is different, but many report that they are able to locate the direction sounds are coming from, and almost all can put a telephone to the dead ear and hear the dial tone. In quiet conditions, most can carry on a phone conversation using the aided ear, and whispers can usually be heard from the TransEar side. Some users experience these benefits immediately, while others go through a period of gradual improvement as the brain learns what it is like to receive input from both sides once again.

Over time, you will likely notice many situations where your hearing loss would have created problems for you before you received your TransEar, and those around you will notice even more!

Will I feel the vibrations in my ear?

With a properly fitting transfer unit, no. The 380-HF oscillator is so efficient that the vibrations usually can’t be felt, even when held in your hand. But those “invisible” oscillations speed through the bones of your skull faster than sound can travel through the air, sending the information you’ve been missing to the good ear for processing.

Is TransEar appropriate for children?

It depends on the size of the ear canal and the maturity of the child being fitted. TransEar’s transfer unit must reach past the second bend in the ear canal, so the child must be able to tolerate a deep-canal impression and accept the presence of a hard plastic shell in the ear. Some large children have small ear canals, and the opposite is also true, so there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer. Once we receive the required impressions, we can easily determine who is not a candidate. TransEar is not indicated for infants, but there have been many very successful fittings of school-age children.

Testimonials

The TransEar is exactly what I needed after losing the hearing in one ear due to an acoustic neuroma. The doctor had recommended a BAHA, but I absolutely did not want to endure another surgery and I didn’t want an anchor with a titanium abutment implanted in my skull permanently. After considering the BAHA, I had decided to just live with one “good” ear. I told my husband I wish someone would invent a hearing aid that could do the same thing as a BAHA (conduct sound through the skull to the hearing ear), but could just be worn in the ear. About 2 weeks later, my audiologist told me about the TransEar. She was going to a seminar and was very hopeful that it would help me. She couldn’t have been more right! The TransEar has helped me regain my sense of sound direction and has assisted my balance problems. It helps me comprehend the dialogue in meetings and assists me in restaurant settings. I couldn’t be more pleased and am anxious to see what improvements the future holds for TransEar.

S.B., Roanoke, VA

After recovering from the trauma of an acoustic neuroma I began to grieve for my lost hearing and diminished social life. I’d already turned away from the prospect of a surgically implanted hearing processor. No more surgery for me, if I could help it! Then a friend on the forum mentioned your bone conduction hearing aid that could be worn in the deaf ear and would “send” sound through the head bone to the good ear! I found TransEar especially appealing because I’d only have to wear a unit in the one ear. My superb audiologist and TransEar set me up with the ear mold and the unit for a fitting. From the first day my aid was inserted I could hear natural quality sound from my deaf side. I have been enjoying my unit since October, 2006. How wonderful to hear my husband and the waiter in the restaurant! What a boost in morale to actively participate in meetings again! What a blessing to share secret telling on both sides with my twin Grandsons! The developers of TransEar have made life better for me. P.S. I have read that some TransEar users are able to find direction with their aid. I and my brain are still working on that level of achievement. So far, I am better able to discern speaking on my deaf side and I do not need to “locate” as much as I did before the aid.

L.W., Victoria, TX

I just passed 3 years since sudden and complete sensorineural hearing loss in my left ear, and 2½ years since being fitted with my first TransEar. The first one was a real blessing…The real amazement came two months ago when I changed audiologists and received the latest model TransEar. What an amazing difference! Comprehension is substantially better than with the first device, and massively better than with nothing. I’m able to function well in settings that were difficult even with my first TransEar (such as loud background noise in stores, restaurants, etc., as well as meetings or classes with many participants). I could go on for pages, but suffice it to say I am providing this completely on my own, with no request from you or your staff, because I want other people to have the benefit I have. I would not ever want to be without a TransEar again.

C.S., Fortson, GA

Contact Us Today for More Information about the TransEar Hearing Device