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Restore Clear &
Natural Sound Perception

Bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHAs) are sophisticated auditory devices that revolutionize hearing for those with specific types of hearing loss. Unlike traditional hearing aids, which amplify sound through the ear canal, BAHAs work by conducting sound vibrations through the bone directly to the inner ear. They are particularly effective for individuals with conductive or mixed hearing loss, where sound transmission through the outer or middle ear is compromised.

A BAHA consists of three primary components: a small titanium implant, a sound processor, and an external abutment or magnetic attachment. The implant is surgically placed into the skull bone behind the ear, where it fuses with the bone over time. The sound processor captures sound vibrations from the environment, converts them into electrical signals, and sends them to the implant. The implant transmits these signals through bone to the inner ear, bypassing any damaged auditory structures and allowing for clearer and more natural sound perception.

Advantages of Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA):

  • Direct bone conduction bypasses damaged outer or middle ear structures
  • Provides clearer and more natural sound perception compared to traditional hearing aids
  • Suitable for individuals with conductive or mixed hearing loss
  • Helps improve speech understanding and hearing clarity
  • Reduces feeling of blocked ears experienced with some traditional hearing aids
  • Less susceptible to issues related to ear canal shape or moisture
  • Can be worn by individuals with certain types of ear canal abnormalities
  • Offers improved localization of sound compared to traditional hearing aids
  • Allows for a discreet experience as the external component can be concealed under hair

Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) Treats:

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound waves are unable to pass through the outer or middle ear due to blockages, malformations, or other issues. BAHA is an effective treatment for conductive hearing loss as it bypasses these areas and directly stimulates the cochlea through bone conduction. By transmitting sound vibrations directly to the inner ear, BAHA compensates for the impaired function of the outer or middle ear, resulting in improved hearing clarity and speech understanding for individuals with conductive hearing loss.

Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss involving problems with both the outer or middle ear and the inner ear or auditory nerve. BAHA is also a suitable option for treating mixed hearing loss, as it addresses the conductive component by bypassing the damaged outer or middle ear structures and delivers sound vibrations directly to the cochlea via bone conduction. By overcoming both conductive and sensorineural components of mixed hearing loss, BAHA can significantly improve hearing abilities.

Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) FAQs

Who is a candidate for a BAHA?

You may be a candidate for a BAHA if you have conductive or mixed hearing loss and have not found success with traditional hearing aids. Additionally, individuals with single-sided deafness (SSD) or those unable to wear conventional hearing aids due to ear canal abnormalities or chronic ear infections may also benefit from a BAHA. During your consultation, our doctors will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine if a BAHA is suitable for you.

Is the BAHA surgery invasive?

BAHA surgery is considered a minor procedure and is typically performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Your surgeon will make a small incision behind the ear to insert the titanium implant into the skull bone. The surgery generally takes about one to two hours, and most patients experience minimal discomfort during the procedure.

What is the recovery process like after BAHA surgery?

After BAHA surgery, you may experience mild discomfort or swelling around the surgical site, which can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. Your surgeon will provide specific post-operative instructions to promote healing and minimize the risk of complications. It is essential to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting during the initial recovery period. Most patients can resume normal daily activities within a few days.

How soon can I start using my BAHA after surgery?

You will need to wait for the surgical site to heal before attaching the sound processor to the external abutment or magnetic attachment. This typically takes about 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. Once your surgeon confirms that the implant has integrated with the bone and the surgical site has healed adequately, you can begin using your BAHA.

Will people notice that I am wearing a BAHA?

One of the benefits of BAHA is its discreet design. The external component, including the sound processor, can be easily concealed under your hair, making it barely noticeable to others.

Can I wear glasses or sunglasses with a BAHA?

Yes, you can wear glasses with a BAHA. The external component is positioned behind the ear, allowing ample space for the arms of the glasses to rest comfortably. However, you may need to adjust the placement of your glasses slightly to ensure optimal comfort and stability.

How do I care for my BAHA?

You should clean the external components, including the sound processor, with a soft, dry cloth regularly. Avoid exposing your BAHA to excessive moisture or harsh chemicals, as this can damage the device. It is also essential to follow your surgeon’s recommendations for routine follow-up appointments to monitor your hearing and the condition of your BAHA.

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Your Consultation

Alaska Facial Plastic Surgery and ENT is your premier destination for comprehensive ear, nose, and throat care. Led by Dr. Julie Highland, a fellowship-trained otolaryngology-head and neck surgeon, our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care in Alaska. Whether you’re seeking treatment for hearing loss or other ENT concerns, we have the expertise and resources to meet your needs. Take the first step towards better hearing and schedule your consultation for a bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) today.

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