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What Is A Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (baha)?

Jan 16, 2008
Bone anchored hearing aids are also known as BAHA. These are surgically implanted hearing aids used to treat hearing loss. BAHA differs from other hearing aids as it uses direct bone conduction to transmit the sound. This is where the sound travels through the bone. This isn't actually a new idea, it has been possible since 1977. It wasn't until 1996 that the FDA approved BAHA for use in the United States.

The BAHA has three main parts. There is an implant, an external abutment and a sound processor. These three parts work together to enhance natural bone transmission and provides a pathway for sound to enter the inner ear that bypasses the external auditory canal and middle ear.

The actual implant is made from a very small piece of titanium. This is surgically implanted in between the skin and the skull. The sound processor transmits sound through the external component which makes the bone vibrate. The vibration of the skull is picked up by the inner ear, thus enabling the person to hear.

Who is a candidate for the BAHA?

The BAHA is a good solution for people who have suffered hearing loss due to chronic ear infections or congenital middle ear defects. The device bypasses the outer and middle ear areas to get to the inner ear. As long as the inner ear is intact and functions properly, the BAHA can be successfully used. Those who continue to suffer from ear infections will find that the device does not aggravate the situation as other types of hearing aid often do. People who have congenital defects that prevented good hearing will find excellent results when using the BAHA.

Bone anchored hearing aids are fantastic for people who do not feel comfortable wearing conventional hearing aids. The BAHA also overcomes problems caused by amplification and feedback issues.

Is the BAHA helpful for people with deafness in a single ear?

One of the best things about the BAHA is that it helps those with a deaf ear. Prior to BAHA, people with unilateral deafness did not have many satisfactory options for improved hearing. Recently, the BAHA was cleared by the FDA as a solution for unilateral deafness. The BAHA hearing aid is placed on the side of the deaf ear. It transmits sounds from the deaf ear to the normal ear, resulting in a sensation of hearing in the deaf ear.

What are the best features of the BAHA?

Bone anchored hearing aid can address the needs of people who suffer from problems with both the outer and middle ear, and deafness in a single ear. The BAHA is much more comfortable than many other types of hearing aids. Once implanted, the BAHA is completely unnoticeable. It can't fall off accidentally, and there is no need to re-fit it.
About the Author
Only one out of five people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wears one. While the BAHA hearing aid is suitable for people with hearing loss in one ear, there are other types of hearing aids to suit almost every type and degree of hearing loss, and budget. Check out our hearing aid comparisons before you buy a hearing aid.
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