Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA)

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History and Components

Reports describing a bone anchored hearing device have been found since the 1700s. Implanted devices such as the BAHA began in 1977. The Baha became commercially available to the public in 1987(Information obtained through the International Journal of Health Science, July 2007).

The BAHA has two components: a magnet or abutment which is surgically implanted into the skull and an external sound/speech processor which is worn on the head or ear.

Candidates

Children and adults who present with a conductive or mixed hearing loss.

How does it work?

Sound is collected by the external processor and sent to the internal component which allows the sound to travel naturally through the bone (skull) to the organ of hearing (cochlea) within the inner ear. This pathway allows the sound to bypass the parts of the ear which is damaged resulting in hearing loss.

Management

An evaluation for candidacy is conducted by an audiologist and, if determined to be a candidate, a BAHA demonstration may be administered the same day to allow one to hear from a BAHA external device. This provides the candidate the experience to determine the BAHA’s benefits. If surgery is desired an appointment is scheduled with an otolaryngologist to discuss the surgical aspects. Once implanted with a BAHA, adjustments are provided by an audiologist to obtain optimal hearing.

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