Vivien Williams: If hearing aids don't work for you, cochlear implants might. New technology is helping to make cochlear implants even better.
Colin Driscoll, M.D., Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Mayo Clinic: "One of the more exciting things that's been developed in the last number of years is surrounding the concept of preserving the hearing that people currently have."
Vivien Williams: Dr. Colin Driscoll says some people who choose cochlear implants do have some level of hearing. It's just not good.
Before the new technology was available, any residual hearing that did exist was lost during surgery to implant the device.
Colin Driscoll, M.D.: "The idea now is, can we preserve that functional, mildly useful hearing and then augment it with the cochlear implant?"
Vivien Williams: The new technology allows Dr. Driscoll and his team to monitor hearing levels during surgery to make sure implantation does not disrupt existing hearing. It allows patients to…
Colin Driscoll, M.D.: "... get the best of both worlds. Hang on to what you have and then augment what you don't have."
Vivien Williams: For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Vivien Williams.