Electro-acoustic implant systems (EAS) offer a hearing solution for people who hear some low frequencies, but whose hearing of high frequencies is significantly weakened. In practice, the EAS combines the technology of an acoustic hearing aid and a cochlear implant in a synchronised manner, which is why it is often referred to as a hybrid implant. In this case, the hearing environment can be made as natural as possible, even though two different technologies are utilised in its production.
Low-frequency information is directed to the hearing aid, which amplifies the sound acoustically. Like traditional ear canal hearing aids, the sound moves down a pipe to the ear canal via the ear piece. High frequencies, on the other hand, are processed by the cochlear implant, which converts them into electrical impulses that directly stimulate the auditory nerve.
Electro-acoustic implant systems expand the number of people that potentially could benefit from a cochlear implant, since the risk low-frequency hearing loss in a cochlear implant surgery is reduced. The electrode of an electro-acoustic implant system is thinner and shorter than in a conventional cochlear implant, thus it is saves the remaining auditory nerves better.