Why aren’t hearing aids enough for some people?
While hearing aids can help the majority of people with hearing loss, they can’t help everyone. For many people with draining ears or chronic infections, blockage or damage in the outer ear, or loss of all hearing in one ear such as following an acoustic tumor removal, even the most advanced and powerful hearing aids may not help. That’s because hearing aids simply amplify sound, and sometimes hearing aids can’t make sounds loud enough without distortion or whistling. It may be that the earmolds for hearing aids are uncomfortable or make draining ears worse. For people with one deaf ear, another kind of hearing aid called a CROS requires wearing two earmolds and two ear-level units, which can be cumbersome. For people like this, hearing aids may not work as effectively as the Baha System.
How a Baha® System works
The Baha System uses your body’s natural ability to conduct sound.
- Bone, like air conducts sound. Conventional hearing aids rely on air conduction to send sound from the outer ear, through the middle ear, and to the inner ear.
- The Baha System bypasses the outer and middle ear using bone conduction to send sound to the functioning inner ear. So, even when the outer or middle ear is damaged, blocked, or malformed, the Baha System can send sound vibrations directly through bone to the inner ear (cochlea).
- Once sound reaches the inner ear, the sound vibrations are converted into electrical impulses by tiny hair cells inside the cochlea.
- These impulses travel to the brain, allowing the Baha recipient to perceive sound naturally.
What is the Baha® System?
The Baha System is a 3-part medical device for the treatment of hearing loss.
Sound Processor: The sound processor, which sits behind the ear, picks up sound through a microphone. The sound is amplified and converted into sound vibrations.
Abutment: The abutment, or connector, links the sound processor and a titanium implant, transferring the sound vibrations from the sound processor to the implant.
Titanium implant: The titanium implant is a small fixture surgically placed behind the ear in an outpatient procedure. It naturally fuses with bone and transfers sound vibrations to the inner ear.
You can try the Baha® System before you get one
A unique feature of the Baha System is that you can try it out. Your audiologist can fit you with a Baha Processor using a headband or test rod, to hear how it might sound.
Most people who try it say they are amazed at how much better they hear. Even with skin acting as a sound barrier, you will hear how bone conduction can improve the clarity and quality of sound. You may hear even better when you wear the Baha System after implantation and receive a direct connection.
What you can expect with surgery--
Getting the Baha System involves a short, typically outpatient surgery. The entire procedure usually takes about 1 hour and a patient goes home later the same day. Thousands of these surgeries take place every year. Your surgeon will discuss with you the risks associated with the procedure. In terms of recovery time, you may find it surprising to learn that most children and adults are able to return to normal activities within a few days. Some healing time is necessary prior to activation of the system. Your surgeon and audiologist can tell you how long it will be in your individual case.
What you can expect after surgery with your Audiologist
Six to twelve weeks post implementation of your abutment, the Audiologist will program your new Baha devise with your custom designed prescription for your hearing needs. The Audiologist will educate you on the care and use of your new device. You will be rechecked within 30 days for any further adjustment if necessary.
If you are interested in a consultation or would like a demonstration on how the Baha System works and sounds please contact us at ChEARS at 619-810-1214.
The Baha System is a medical device which is covered by many insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. You will need to check for exact requirements and coverage as benefits may differ from state to state and from plan to plan.