(formerly know as Bone Anchored Hearing Aids or BAHA)
What Is a BAHA?
The Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) is a surgically implanted device designed to help people with hearing loss. The majority of the conventional hearing aids transmit sound through the medium of air conduction. BAHA stimulates the cochlea by transmitting the sound waves through the bones in our skull, or bone conduction, thereby bypassing the outer and middle ear. Once the cochlea receives the sound signals, the information is converted in to neural signals and transferred to the brain, where it is perceived as sound. thereby bypassing the outer and middle ear.
Who Can Benefit From a BAHA?
Patients with chronic middle ear conditions or outer ear problems or congenital defects of the ear who can’t wear hearing aids may be candidates for a BAHA as long as one ear has a cochlea that can hear at a moderate hearing level or better. A second category of candidates are patients with “single sided deafness”. This includes patients who have lost all or most hearing in one ear, in which a conventional hearing aid is not helpful, but have good hearing in the other.
The Baha system, which is based on bone conduction, utilizes a titanium implant, which is placed in the skull bone behind the non-functioning ear. An abutment connects the sound processor with the implant in the bone. This creates direct (percutaneous) bone conduction. In contrast, traditional bone conductors connect indirectly to the bone through unbroken skin (transcutaneous) and work by exerting pressure against the skull. Direct bone conduction, provided by Baha, may give improved access to sound when compared to traditional bone conductors because sound is not weakened when passing through the skin, muscle and fat covering the skull.