Not everybody with hearing loss can benefit from traditional hearing aids. When the auditory canal or middle ear is damaged, sound may be unable to reach the inner ear. Bone anchored hearing aids (BAHA) can solve this problem.
BAHA is a surgically implanted hearing device that bypasses damaged portions of the middle ear to deliver sound directly to the inner ear. It relies on the natural conductive ability of bone to transmit sound. Bone anchored hearing aids are comprised of three parts: a titanium implant, an external abutment and a sound processor that attaches to the abutment. Over time, the titanium implant fuses with the bone behind the ear in a process known as osseointegration.
BAHA works by transmitting sound vibrations through the titanium implant to the skull and inner ear through the bone. There, the nerve fibers responsible for hearing are stimulated. The system works best for patients with conductive, mixed, or single-sided sensorineural hearing loss. It is particularly helpful to those who experience frequent middle ear infections; these patients often do not benefit from traditional hearing aids because these cause excess humidity and fluid to build up, worsening the condition. Bone anchored hearing aids also help people with narrow or absent ear canals or single-sided deafness.
The BAHA system is a safe and effective alternative treatment for hearing loss. It is FDA-approved and has been in use since 1977. If you are experiencing hearing loss in Portland that cannot be treated with traditional hearing aids and would like to learn more about bone anchored hearing aids, give us a call and schedule an appointment today.