Certain types of hearing loss can’t be treated with traditional hearing aids. One alternative option is the Cochlear™ Baha® bone conduction system.
What is the Baha system?
The Baha System is a surgically implanted device that helps overcome hearing loss by directly stimulating a healthy cochlea through bone conduction. There are three components to the Baha System: the implant, an abutment or magnetic attachment and a sound processor.
The system allows sound to be conducted through the bone rather than via the middle ear—a process known as direct bone conduction—to a healthy inner ear. Surgery is minor, and many patients report a wide range of advantages over other hearing devices.
Three options for better hearing
Three types of the Baha system exist: the original Baha Connect, a new version called the Baha Attract and the Baha Softband system. All are based on the most advanced digital signal processing in the world today and use the body’s natural ability to conduct sound.
Here’s how each system works:
- Baha Connect. A small titanium implant is surgically implanted in the bone behind the ear. An abutment is used to connect a sound processor outside of the head to the top of the implant that is attached to the skull. Sound is transmitted as mechanical vibrations from the processor to the abutment and implant, which transfer the vibrations through the bone to stimulate the inner ear and allow the patient to hear.
- Baha Attract. A small titanium implant is surgically implanted in the bone behind the ear. A magnet attached to the implant is used to connect the sound processor to the top of the implant. The implant magnet is completely hidden beneath the skin. A sound processor, attached to a small external magnet, is placed on the outside of the head. Sound is transmitted as mechanical vibrations from the processor via the magnets to the implant, which transfers the vibrations through the bone to stimulate the inner ear and allows the patient to hear.
- Baha Softband The softband system is the option for children under the age of five who are not yet able to have the titanium implant placed but are in need of hearing assistance via bone conduction. In this case, the sound processor is connected to a soft headband. Sound is then transmitted as mechanical vibrations from the processor to the headband onto a bony part of the head, which transfers the vibrations to the inner ear through the bone to allow the patient to hear.
Who is a candidate?
The Baha can provide significant benefit for people with the following hearing impairments:
- Conductive or mixed hearing loss
- Incomplete ear canal as a result of a congenital ear malformation
- Single-sided deafness
- Chronic inflammation or infection of the ear canal that restricts the ability to physically wear a hearing aid in the ear
Our Baha System Team
Our Audiology team works with our Baha surgeons, Drs. Eytan Young, Timothy Simplot and Simon Wright, to provide consultation, implantation, programming and maintenance for the Baha System.
Dr. Young, the first in Central Iowa to use the Baha Attract
Iowa ENT Center, PLLC, physician Dr. Eytan Young is the first physician in Central Iowa to use the Baha Attract. See his success in using the device to restore hearing to a six-year-old patient with single-sided deafness in this WHO-TV news story.
Is it right for you?
If you think you or your child could benefit from a Baha system, request a consultation by completing the request an appointment form or calling 515-223-4368.