Dr. Aaron Benson, Neuro-otologist of Toledo ENT Inc, recently completed our first round of implants. In November, he implanted our first adult cochlear implant, who will be activated in mid January. December brought our first pediatric BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aid). The BAHA recipient has been using his processor since two weeks after surgery, giving him a jump on the usual 3-6 month wait.
Each implant has specific candidacy requirements. For more information, please contact one of our audiologists or drop us a note from the contact us page.
What is the Baha system?
The Baha system is an osseointegrated bone conduction implant system which utilizes direct bone conduction. This is where the bone acts as a pathway for sound to travel to the inner ear (cochlea), bypassing the outer and middle ear. The Baha system is designed to help improve hearing in conditions where the ear canal is not functioning normally due to a mixed or conductive hearing loss; or in Single Sided Deafness (SDD), where there is only one functioning cochlea.
How does it work?
During a minor surgical procedure, a small titanium implant is placed in the skull (mastoid) bone behind the ear where it bonds with the surrounding tissue through a process called osseointegration. A few months after implantation, the sound processor is connected, and sound can be heard immediately upon fitting.
Once fitted, the sound processor receives sound vibrations as they would reach the ear. The vibrations from the sound processor are transmitted directly to the implant through the skin (direct bone conduction). This process creates vibrations in the skull, and the bone then acts as a pathway for sound to travel to the inner ear without involving the outer ear or ear canal.
For people with a conductive or mixed hearing loss, the Baha system allows sound to bypass the damaged outer or middle ear and travel directly to the cochlea. For people with Single Sided Deafness (SSD), the system allows sound to be heard from the deaf side, provided that hearing is normal in the non-affected ear.
How is the Baha system different from other treatments?
The Baha system is the only implanted treatment for hearing loss that works through direct bone conduction. It allows sound to be processed by the cochlea without involving the outer ear or ear canal, enabling those with specific types of hearing loss to benefit from a natural transmission of sound. Unlike hearing aids, the Baha system does not rely on amplification; and unlike cochlear implants, it does not utilize electronic impulses to stimulate the cochlea.
How many people use it?
The Baha system has been FDA-cleared since 1996 for use in the United States. It is currently being worn by more than 25,000 people worldwide, a number which continues to grow.