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Valley doctor offering new hearing correction procedure

PHOENIX -- Just as Lasik eye surgery has improved the lives of millions, a procedure new to the Valley is providing people with hearing loss the opportunity to have an improved quality of life.

"It's opened up the communication lines both professionally and personally," said LoriAnn Harnish, who had the procedure. "I've had some really awakening experiences in hearing things that I haven't heard for years, since I was a kid."

Harnish lost much of her hearing because of childhood illness. After utilizing dozens of hearing aids, Harnish was part of a clinical trial to test the Esteem Hearing Implant.

"I've got 90 percent of my hearing," she said.

The Esteem Hearing Implant is leading the way as the first FDA-approved technology to offer a permanent and invisible hearing solution. The system relies on the shape of the ear and the ear canal to collect sound, delivering a more natural sound quality than hearing aids.

Basically, a sound processor is implanted under the scalp, behind the ear. The processor is then wired to another component located in the middle ear.

The three-hour procedure is being offered by only one Valley specialist, Dr. Mark Syms, of the Arizona Ear Center.

"There is nothing like this on the market right now," said Syms. "The Esteem is the only FDA-approved, fully implanted, active middle ear hearing device available. Unlike conventional hearing aids, there are no external components and nothing in the ear canal, making it the only device of its kind available today."

For more information, click here.

About the Author

Sandra moved from the small border city of Yuma, Arizona to study Broadcast Journalism at Arizona State University in the late 90s. Since graduating, she's worked at several local TV stations including Univision, Fox 10 and 3TV.

Working at KTAR, has allowed her the opportunity to cover major national news events, including Presidential visits, the Tucson Tragedy and the Wallow fire.

When Sandra isn't covering breaking news or behind a microphone in the studio, she's probably at home with her best friend Mark and her two dogs, Lily and Lola.

Sandra enjoys cooking and admits to enjoying "really bad" reality T.V. She also enjoys spending quiet time at home with people she loves, playing a little poker and traveling.


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