Having invented the world’s first cochlear implant more than 30 years ago, Cochlear is a pioneer in implantable solutions that help people of all ages hear better. Cochlear makes two different types of implantable devices for the American hearing care market: a cochlear implant and a bone-anchored hearing aid (Baha).
Cochlear implants are an implantable hearing treatment for severe-to-profound hearing loss. Instead of delivering sound through the ear canal like traditional hearing aids, cochlear implants provide a sense of sound by stimulating the auditory nerve directly with an implanted electrode array. The two main components of a cochlear implant, the external sound processor and the implanted electrode array, are connected via a strong magnet. Cochlear currently makes two cochlear implant processors: the Nucleus 7 and the Nucleus Kanso. Both cochlear implant devices can be used for children or adults.
The Nucleus 7 sound processor sits behind the ear and includes Made for iPhoneTM technology to enable easy audio streaming from Apple devices. The device can be powered by a rechargeable battery if desired. This sound processor can also be implemented as a hybrid solution, combining electrical stimulation of the cochlea with acoustic stimulation of a different portion of the cochlea. This allows the user to take advantage of residual hearing ability.
The Nucleus Kanso sound processor is a smaller and lighter option that sits off the ear, allowing the wearer the benefits of a cochlear implant without needing to wear anything hanging behind the ear. There is a hair clip and a headband available to ensure the processor stays in place during physical activity.
For people who can benefit from having a cochlear implant in one ear and a hearing aid in the other, Cochlear and ReSound offer what they call smart bimodal hearing. Bimodal hearing can help make it easier to understand speech in noisy environments, as well as locate the sources of sounds occurring all around you.
Bone-anchored hearing aids (Bahas)
Cochlear was first to market in the US with this sort of device, and trademarked the name “Baha” for their device. Other manufacturers refer to these devices as “bone-anchored hearing systems” or “BAHS.” A Baha treats hearing loss through bone conduction of sound vibrations to the inner ear—in contrast to regular hearing aids, which amplify acoustic sounds that enter the ear canal. This hearing treatment helps people who have conductive or mixed hearing loss, single-sided deafness, malformed ears or chronically-draining ears.
The Baha is made up of a titanium bone implant and an external sound processor. These devices can be used for children or adults.
The Baha 5 sound processor is available in three power options to accommodate different degrees of hearing loss. All three processors feature Made for iPhoneTM technology to enable audio streaming from Apple devices. Other smartphones can be streamed from an accessory called the phone clip.
The regular and power Baha 5 sound processors sit off the ear, attached to the internal component through a physical clip onto an abutment that juts out from the implant or through a strong magnetic coupling.
The super power Baha 5 sound processor includes a microphone that sits behind the ear, in addition to the off the ear portion that attaches to the internal component via physical or magnetic coupling. The super power processor comes with rechargeable batteries, instead of disposable.
Learn more about Cochlear
Specially trained audiologists and ENT physicians work together to implant, program and help you maintain these types of hearing treatments. Contact a clinic affiliated with Cochlear to learn more about bone-anchored hearing aids and cochlear implant solutions.