Ear Implant Device Using Technology from Cochlear Implants Being Tested for Balance Disorder–First Patient Receives Implan
Posted Oct 24 2010 12:27pm
The University of Washington is taking the ear implant and working further to see if it can contribute to helping those with vertigo and balance. Earlier this year the FDA approved the use of the implant to help those with hearing problems. It makes you wonder in the future how many potential implanted devices we may have or how many more will be available?
The University of Washington performed the first surgical procedure a few days ago and 10 patients will be able to receive the implant on a trial basis. The difference is the electrodes that have been re-engineered for use with treating Vertigo also known as Meniere's disease. BD
Meniere's disease is an inner ear disorder that affects about one percent of the U.S. population, and it’s a disabling condition – attacks of vertigo can occur without warning, requiring people to lay still for several hours at a time. This ever-present possibility causes sufferers to avoid certain activities, situations and even careers. Medication and lifestyle changes often alleviate it, but if they don’t then surgery is the next step, which typically depletes the hearing and/or balance functions of the affected ear. Now, a team of scientists from the University of Washington Medical Center are about to try out a new cochlear implant on their first human test subject. Their hope is that it will get rid of his symptoms, while allowing him to retain full use of both ears.