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Bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA) systems are suitable for children and adults who have a conductive hearing loss . A small sound processor worn behind the ear captures sound, which is transmitted by bone conduction directly to the inner ear. BAHA systems can be worn on a head band or attached to an implanted sound transmission system.
What is bone conduction hearing?
Sound travels to the inner ear in two ways – air conduction, and bone conduction. Disease, infection or abnormalities of the outer or middle ear can stop sound travelling by air conduction, leaving bone conduction as the only solution. This is where a BAHA comes in.
How do BAHA systems work?
A small sound processor is worn behind the ear. It captures sound and transmits this through your skull bone to the inner ear, where the sound can be transformed into sounds that your brain can understand. The sound processor can be attached by a head band, abutment, or magnetic attraction. The abutment and magnetic attraction solutions involve surgery.
What types of BAHA are there
There are four types of BAHA:
BAHA worn on a head band (non-surgical)
BAHA Osia (surgical)
BAHA attract (surgical)
BAHA connect (surgical)
BAHA worn on a head band
The BAHA sound processor is worn on either a soft head band, or a harder behind the ear band. These are the best solutions if you want to try the BAHA out before surgery, if you don’t want surgery, or if your child is too young for surgery. We offer trials of a BAHA worn on a headband if you or your child would like to experience BAHA.
BAHA Osia delivers sound vibrations to the inner ear through piezoelectric stimulation. It consists of a sound processor worn behind the ear, and a surgically implanted internal implant placed under the skin which integrates with the bone. Vibrations from the Piezo Power transducer inside the internal implant travel to the inner ear where they are converted into electrical impulses and sent to the brain to be interpreted as sound.
A small implant made of titanium is inserted into the bone behind your ear. A magnet is attached to this and hidden beneath the skin. The BAHA sound processor is then attached to a second external magnet, which connects through the skin to the implanted one. Vibrations from the internal implant travel to the inner ear where they are converted into electrical impulses and sent to the brain to be interpreted as sound.
This is the original BAHA solution. A small titanium abutment is inserted just behind the ear, and the BAHA sound processor clips on to this. Vibrations from the abutment travel to the inner ear where they are converted into electrical impulses and sent to the brain to be interpreted as sound.
This solution is suitable for more severe hearing losses.
How do I get a BAHA?
You will need to be assessed both by Mills & McKinney Practice and an ENT surgeon. We have a number of eminent surgeons that we work with. We will carry out a number of investigations including:
Trial of BAHA (if appropriate)
Scans of the head and ears
General health assessment
Most importantly we will carefully discuss the procedure and the likely benefits with you so that you can make an informed decision.
What happens during BAHA surgery?
This varies a bit depending on the type of implant that you have – Osia, Attract or Connect. Your surgeon will discuss this with you in detail during assessment. The surgery may be done under local or general anaesthetic. The operation may take up to one hour but is usually less and is often done as a Day Case Procedure.
How soon after surgery can the BAHA be fitted?
The surgery needs to heal before your BAHA is programmed for the first time. This usually takes 4 to 12 weeks, depending on the type of implant. Once the wound has healed, the BAHA speech processor can be fitted and programmed to your hearing. The benefit will be immediate.
What happens after the BAHA has been fitted?
Mills & McKinney Practice will review you at 2 and 4 weeks after fitting, and again at 3 and 6 months after fitting. After that we offer annual reviews free of charge for the lifetime of the BAHA processor. All maintenance and repairs of the BAHA processor are also arranged through us.