Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lou Ferrigno Receives Esteem Hearing Implant

Supanova Perth 2010 - Lou Ferrigno
Photo via Flickr user Nikita Kashner.
The Esteem is a fully implantable hearing aid device which gained FDA approval back in March of 2010. (I blogged about it here.) The device has been steadily gaining interest since its FDA approval. It is not for everyone - only for adults 18 and over and for people with a stable sensorineural hearing loss and normal ear anatomy.

In late May Lou Ferrigno announced that he has had the Esteem implanted in one ear. Lou is an actor who became profoundly deaf after ear infections in his very early childhood. He's currently on Celebrity Apprentice, and was on The Incredible Hulk and The King of Queens (as himself). I still remember my Dad pointing out Lou on The King of Queens and telling me that he was just like me.

I can't find a whole lot of information on Lou and the Esteem but this press release has some. Lou's wife Carla encouraged him to have the Esteem implant. As a result, Lou says he "hasn't felt this good since he won the Mr. Universe competition" and that "everything is so loud and so clear."

I'm really happy for Lou and glad the implant is working out for him. Hopefully it can find a place alongside conventional hearing aids and cochlear implants as helpful devices. I can't take advantage of the Esteem because I have a progressive hearing loss, but I find it very interesting. I anticipate a lot of interest in the Esteem as more people are implanted and we learn more about it.


  1. I couldn't be fitted for the Esteem b/c my ear canal is too curvy. I'm considering a cochlear implant - I'd be very interested in reading what others have to say about it. I understand they've come a long way as far as easier to adjust to and more audible... it's still scary though. I keep thinking that there will be stem cell transplants in my lifetime but the cochlear implant would diminish the possible results from it - as far as I can understand?

  2. Too curvy. Um, no. I have a curvy ear canal and I got the Esteem. I love it! Try again. Which Dr. told you that. I was a risk as I was nearly profound with my hearing loss, but I've love hearing for the last 5 1/2 years.


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