What is a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA Implant)?
The BAHA is a semi-implantable percutaneous bone conduction hearing device coupled to the skull by an Osseo integrated titanium implant. It is used to help people with chronic ear infections, congenital external auditory canal atresia and single sided deafness who cannot benefit from conventional hearing aids. The system is surgically implanted and allows sound to be conducted through the bone rather than via the middle ear – a process known as direct bone conduction.
How does a BAHA work?
It consists of three parts: a titanium implant, an external abutment, and a sound processor. The implant consists of a small titanium screw that is inserted into the bone during a short surgical procedure and over time naturally integrates with the skull bone, an external processor that sits behind the ear. The processor picks up sound waves and converts them into vibrations, which are then transmitted through the bone to the inner ear, allowing the person to hear more clearly.
Who is a candidate?
BAHA implants are not suitable for everyone with hearing loss. They are typically only recommended for children who have congenital (present at birth) or acquired hearing loss that affects one ear only, and for adults with a single sided hearing loss because of sudden hearing loss or surgery for a vestibular schwannoma, who have tried other hearing aids and have not had sufficient improvement in their hearing.
It may be worn under the hair and may not be perceptible to others. Because it is held in place and directly integrated with the skull bone, the sound and speech clarity is much better when compared with aided or unaided conditions.