This study examined the safety and efficacy of a fully implantable active middle ear (AMEI) system. Outcome measures assessed AMEI performance compared with an optimally fitted conventional hearing aid (CHA). Fifty adults with stable, symmetric moderate-to-severe sensorineural hearing loss were implanted at 9 ambulatory settings. Consonant-Nucleus-Consonant (CNC) words, Bamford-Kowel-Bench Speech in Noise test (BKB-SIN), Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit (APHAB), and unaided hearing thresholds in the implanted ear were compared to baseline measures obtained using a personal CHA. Changes in thresholds were observed from pre- to 12-month postoperative assessments. CNC word scores decreased (within 10%), and the BKB-SIN showed no change from pre- to 12-month postoperative time points. The APHAB revealed improvement. Findings suggest no difference in performance between an appropriately fit CHA and the AMEI at 12 months. This study indicates AMEIs have the potential to help individuals who choose not to use CHAs.

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