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Don’t let ear infections hold you back

Everyone has a different story. Perhaps you have an ear infection that makes wearing your hearing aids difficult, maybe you feel isolated because your hearing aids don’t help you enough?

Hearing implants work differently to normal hearing aids, and depending on your situation, could make a positive impact on how well you can hear and communicate.

Robyn, who suffered from chronic ear infections most of her life, decided to get the Cochlear™ Osia® System. “A normal hearing aid irritates the inside of my ear, whereas with the Osia, I just put it on and forget about it.”

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“Being able to hear changes nearly every facet of your life. Just to be able to connect with people — it draws you back into life.”

Robyn, Cochlear Osia System recipient*

What is Chronic Otitis Media (COM)?

A common cause of hearing loss is Chronic Otitis Media (COM), a chronic and acute infection, or series of infections, of the middle ear. It is commonly known as “chronic ear infection”, “draining ear” or “runny ear” and in some cases it can result in a type of hearing impairment called conductive hearing loss.

The fluid build-up from COM prevents the ossicles (bones in the middle ear) and the eardrum from moving effectively. Typical symptoms include a dullness of hearing or a blocked up sensation in the ears.

What is bone conduction?

When we think of hearing, we think of our ears picking up sound, but did you know that we can also hear sound via the skull?
Bone conduction is a term to describe how sound waves travel through the skull to reach the inner ear.

Cochlear Acoustic Implants work on this principle of bone conduction and use the skull to send clear, crisp sound¹ directly to the inner ear, completely bypassing the middle ear. The sound processor picks up sound and sends it to a vibrating element, called the transducer. The transducer, connected to a small implant fused with the bone, sends the sound as vibrations to the inner ear. They are then converted into electrical impulses which are interpreted by the brain as sound.

How can bone conduction help me?

Cochlear hearing solutions that use bone conduction bypass the problem parts of the middle and outer ear and send sound directly to the inner ear.

The benefits include:

  • Clearer and crisper sound1 compared to hearing aids.
  • Unlike hearing aids, Cochlear Bone Conduction Hearing Implants don’t sit in your ear. This means infections may heal and runny ears dry out quicker.2
  • It uses your body’s natural ability to conduct sound via bone.

How is hearing through bone conduction different from traditional hearing aids?

A regular hearing aid increases the volume of the sound and pushes it via the normal hearing path to the inner ear.

So when you have problems in your middle ear, hearing aids:

  • Become less effective2
  • Can make ear infections worse by blocking the ear canal2

Cochlear hearing solutions that use bone conduction bypass the middle and outer ear and send clearer, crisper sound directly to your inner ear.1

Recipient stories

Robyn, Cochlear Osia System recipient*

Robyn was living on antibiotics due to repeat infections caused by hearing aids. Getting the Osia System gave Robyn the confidence to go to interviews again and within a few months of having the device, she had a new job.



Tim, Cochlear Baha System recipient*

Tim suffered from middle ear infections and runny ears. Finding a balance between wearing hearing aids and keeping his ears dry was difficult.

Tim received a Baha System and it changed his life and the lives of the people around him.


  1. Gustafsson J. BCDrive performance vs. conventional bone conduction transducer. Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions AB, 629908, 2015.
  2. Snik AF, Mylanus EA, Proops DW, Wolfaardt J, Hodgetts WA, Somers T, Niparko JK, Wazen JJ, Sterkers O, Cremers CW, Tjellström A. Consensus statements on the Baha system: where do we stand at present? Ann Otol Rhinol Larngol. 2005 Dec;114 (195):1-12.

Please seek advice from your health professional about treatments for hearing loss. Outcomes may vary, and your health professional will advise you about the factors which could affect your outcome. Always read the instructions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information.

*Views expressed are those of the individual. Consult your hearing health provider to determine if you are a candidate for Cochlear technology.

Cochlear, Hear now. And always, Nucleus, Kanso, Baha, Osia, the elliptical logo, and marks bearing an ® or ™ symbol, are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Cochlear Limited or Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions AB (unless otherwise noted).