Magnetic man Les tries out latest hearing technology

Les Butler takes a look at his new hearing device, which stays in place with magnets.
Les Butler takes a look at his new hearing device, which stays in place with magnets. Nev Madsen

LES Butler is a man with magnetism.

Aside from his people skills, the greengrocer was one of the first people in Queensland to receive the Cochlear Baha Attract for his hearing loss - a device that attaches behind his ear to a small magnet under his skin.

The new attachment, which is still in limited release, avoids more invasive surgery, and Mr Butler can remove the device as easily as a magnet on a refrigerator.

Mr Butler's hearing became diminished over a period of time, before he suddenly noticed a significant loss in his left ear.

While he was initially apprehensive about using a technology still in early usage, Mr Butler said he had quickly become used to the device.

"Typical bloke, I thought she'll be right, she'll be right, until one day it became bad enough to get some hearing tests," he said.

"I was worried about what's a magnet going to do in my skull? But it feels pretty natural now."

Mr Butler said conversing with customers at his store, Tower Fruit Shop, had become much easier since wearing the implant.

"I can hear a lot more - obviously it's never going to be 100% perfect.

"But now I can keep up a conversation, understand what's going on, I don't get a clip over the ear from my wife because I'm not listening."

THe Cochlear Baha Attract

A small titanium implant and internal magnet is placed under the skin, and a sound processor sits just behind the ear.

Magnetic retention connects the external and internal components of the system.

The device is currently in limited release, but will become widely available in the first half of 2014.

Topics:  cochlear implant editors picks

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