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Metro Detroit woman regains hearing after 50 years with new device

Angela Holland received the implant at Henry Ford Hospital

DETROIT – Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit has been at the forefront of a lot of different kinds of surgery and medical treatment. One in particular is called piezoelectric sound conduction, which is a new electronic way to help those with hearing loss and restore full hearing.

For Roseville nurse Angela Holland, she said it made a difference in her life.

Holland grew up in Roseville, and at age 12, she needed a growth inside her ear surgically removed. That meant the loss of the hearing structures inside her left ear.

“I had to make sure sitting or standing to the left of people, turned my head a lot in crowded spaces. It was difficult if someone was behind me and I didn’t see them,” she said.

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The coronavirus pandemic didn’t help as people with masks have muffled voice and lip reading is impossible. But a regular check up came with an unexpected surprise.

“She (the doctor) asked if I ever considered having hearing correction. I hadn’t known that was possible,” Holland said.

In September, she had the surgery to attach a unit to her skull. The device also connects to Bluetooth, which Holland can answer the phone and no one else can hear.

“Piezoelectric layers of the internal device expand and contract to send sound vibrations through the bones of the skull to the inner ear, to the cochlea,” said Dr. Kristen Angster.

With her hearing restored, Holland got married two days later.

“I made sure my husband stood on my left because I spent all my life making people stand on my right and so I could hear him through my left ear say his vows,” she said. “I’m trying to listen to different types of music to kind of train the inner ear on the processor to listen.”


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