October 11, 2013
Charleston, SC--- Charleston ENT doctors and audiologist Natalie Bickley recently teamed up with a local dentist to fit a Lowcountry man, deaf in one ear, with a new device that enables him to hear sounds and speech from all directions, according to Dr. Oma Hester, Otologist at Charleston ENT’s Hearing and Balance Institute.
The SoundBite™ device requires no surgery and does what conventional hearing aids cannot do for the deaf ear: it receives and transmits sounds to the opposite ear in a revolutionary way – via the teeth. The system is custom-made to fit around the wearer’s upper left or right back teeth and there is a very small behind-the-ear microphone.
Hester said Charleston ENT is the first practice in the Lowcountry to offer this invaluable technology and expertise. “SoundBite is a new adaptation of a well-tested technology that can help patients with single-sided deafness hear better in their daily interactions.” The patient, Mt. Pleasant resident Francois Rizzetto explained: “Before SoundBite, my hearing loss was bothering me 20% of the time. Being in a restaurant or crowded place, driving a car with a passenger next to me, and people on my right side used to heighten my handicap. That’s no longer the case. It would be difficult for me to do without the SoundBite system now.”
Charleston Ear, Nose & Throat Associates is the state’s largest independent ENT medical group, which serves patients throughout the Lowcountry from 10 locations.