Toronto Teen Set to Receive First Sophono Hearing Device in Canada

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Implantable, magnetic hearing device gives gift of hearing at holiday

A 14-year-old girl from the Toronto area will become the first Canadian to receive the implantable, bone conduction hearing device from Sophono, Inc.

Sophono is a medical device manufacturer specializing in implantable, bone conduction hearing devices. The company’s products are designed for individuals suffering from severe to profound hearing loss or impairment. The FDA-cleared Sophono Alpha is the only abutment-free, implantable, bone-anchored hearing device on the market, treating those with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss, and single-ear deafness.

In Canadian Andrea Crowley’s case, the Sophono Alpha will restore hearing in her left ear that the teenager lost when she was six years old. Suffering from benign tumors in her ear, Crowley underwent surgery at age 11 to remove her ear drum. While the surgery was necessary, it left her without the support tissue that would enable her to wear a hearing aid.

The Sophono Alpha, working with implantable magnets and bone conduction technology, will allow Crowley to wear a small hearing device that will restore hearing. Last week, Blake Papsin, M.D., director of the cochlear implant program for Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, performed a procedure to prepare Crowley for the fitting of the Sophono Alpha device. He placed two small magnets against the teenager’s skull, just beneath the skin. Once that heals, in about three weeks, an audiologist will place a third magnet against Crowley’s scalp, and fasten the Sophono Alpha to the outer magnet. The magnets will send sound vibrations directly into Crowley’s ear.

“I’m expecting it to be almost normal,” Papsin says of the hearing Crowley will experience that day. “The restoration of hearing, and in this case, single-sided hearing, is so important to children.”

In addition to the restoration of hearing is the cosmetic element that goes with hearing devices, explains Jim Kasic, president and CEO of Sophono. Other bone conduction devices involve drilling a hole in the patient’s skull and installing a very noticeable screw that pokes out through the skin on the side of the head. Crowley’s device will be small and champagne-colored, closely matching her hair color.

“For a 14-year-old girl – and any individual, for that matter – the cosmetic element is very important,” explains Kasic. “Eliminating self-consciousness about the device positively influences self-confidence, ability to socialize and even employability in the future.”

Sophono (http://www.sophono.com)
Sophono, Inc., is a medical device manufacturer specializing in implantable, bone conduction hearing devices. The company’s products are designed for individuals suffering from severe to profound hearing loss or impairment. The Sophono Alpha is the only abutment-free, implantable, bone-anchored hearing device. Treating those with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss, and single-ear deafness, the FDA-cleared product Alpha eliminates the problematic abutment of devices by using magnets to affix external sound processors.

Sophono corporate headquarters and manufacturing operations reside in Boulder, Colo. The company maintains an office in Germany, works with more than 20 distributors, and is actively selling in more than 30 countries.

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Aimee Bennett
Sophono
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