Hear the BAHA System Without Implantation
The BAHA system is the only implanted treatment for hearing loss that works through direct bone conduction. This unique method of sound transfer utilizes the skull bones to send sound to the cochlea, while bypassing the outer and middle ear. Or, as is the case with Single Sided Deafness (SSD), the skull bones transfer sound to the better functioning, contralateral inner ear (cochlea).
Direct bone conduction delivers clear, efficient sound transfer. To provide true direct bone conduction, the BAHA system involves surgical placement of a small titanium fixture into the mastoid bone, just posterior to the pinna. The titanium fixture connects to a percutaneous abutment, and the sound processor is placed on the abutment.
The remarkable process of osseointegration through which the titanium forms a permanent, functional bond with living bone is the basis upon which direct bone conduction and the BAHA system was developed. When the sound processor receives acoustic information, sound is transferred via the abutment to the titanium fixture, availing efficient and distortion-free sound transfer. Osseointegration is complete about 90 days post-implant, and at that time, the patient receives the sound processor.
Pre-operative evaluation of the BAHA system candidate includes a complete medical history and a comprehensive audiometric evaluation.
The above audiogram is illustrative of a patient with Single Sided Deafness.
The above audiogram is illustrative of a patient with bilateral conductive atresia.
Audiologists and physicians trained on the BAHA system are the professionals of choice to best assess candidates for the BAHA system. Even though the surgery is minimally-invasive and completely reversible, the prospect of undergoing a surgical procedure to experience direct bone-conducted sound is not a decision patients or professionals take lightly.
From difficult teenager to confident collegian, a non-invasive, pragmatic demonstration of the BAHA system is available. Patients can experience this product and experience indirect bone-conducted sound without surgical intervention, using the BAHA system test rod or test headband.
The test rod is a small, acrylic post designed with a titanium abutment on one end. The opposing end is designed to lay flat against the skull. The sound processor snaps directly onto the test rod abutment, exactly as it would snap onto the implanted abutment.
To demonstrate the BAHA system, the flat end is held firmly against the skull at the mastoid process or the forehead. Sound received through the sound processor is sent via the test rod across the patients skin to the skull bones and the inner ear. Although this is not direct bone conduction (because the test rod system transmits sound across the skin covering the skull), this demonstration allows a patient to experience sound through bone conduction.
The test headband works in a similar way. On one side is a plastic coupler which features an abutment-like fitting, where the sound processor is attached. The headband is fitted so that the sound processor is held via the plastic coupler against the mastoid bone behind the ear. Again, indirect bone conducted sound is received by the sound processor through the plastic coupler, across the skin, to the skull bone.
Both demonstration tools (test rod and headband) provide reasonable approximations of the BAHA system sound transmission methods and perceptual quality of sound. We have found that when the direct system is implanted at a later date, patients who experienced demonstration systems recollect that the direct system has more gain and better sound quality than did the demonstration system.
By providing patients with a demonstration of indirect bone conduction, the BAHA system allows patients to test the treatment before making a surgical decision.
Trained BAHA system audiologists and physicians can provide test rod or test headband demonstrations for interested patients.
For more information about the BAHA system, please CLICK HERE.
Or telephone 1-877-BAHA-4ME or email firstname.lastname@example.org.