Division of ENT (Otolaryngology) 
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Fax: 217-545-0253
Email: ent@siumed.edu  
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BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing System)

What is a bone anchored hearing system (BAHA)?

A BAHA is a special system for people who cannot benefit from tradition hearing aids because of hearing loss from either chronic ear infections, skin cysts in the ear (cholesteatoma) or deafness in one ear (‘single-sided deafness’).  A titanium fixture is surgically placed in the bone behind the ear.  This allows you to hear through a mechanism called  bone conduction.  

A bone anchored system consists of three parts:

  1. A small (3 or 4 mm) titanium implant that is surgically placed in the bone behind the ear
  2. A post that is attached to implant, and is visible behind the ear
  3. A sound processor (the hearing aid microphone and amplifier) that attaches to the implant post.

 

How does a bone anchored hearing system work?

  1. Chronic middle or outer ear disorders : the system is useful when there is no outer ear canal, chronic ear canalinfections that prevent use of a hearing aid, and when the hearing bones behind the ear drum are damaged or absent.
  2. The sound processor picks up sound, converts them into vibrations, and sends them through the skull bone, directly to the inner ear. This bypasses any problems in the ear canal or middle ear.

 

Single sided deafness

For people who are born without hearing in one ear, or who lose the hearing in one ear because of a virus or a tumor on the hearing nerve, a bone anchored hearing system is an option to improve hearing and communication.

As sound via bone conduction is always transmitted to both ears, a bone anchored hearing system can also benefit people with single-sided deafness. It picks up sound on the deaf side and transfers it to the good ear.

 

 

Some useful links

 

Who is a candidate for bone anchored hearing system?

  1. The bone anchored hearing system is recommended for three different types of hearing loss within specific audiological indications:
    1. Conductive and inner ear hearing loss
    2. Mixed hearing loss
    3. Single-sided deafness (SSD)
  2. In the US and Canada, bone-anchored implantation is indicated for children 5 years and older.
    1. Younger children can use the BAHA sound processor on a Softband.
    2. Adults can also use the BAHA sound processor and softband if surgery is not an option.