Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA)

History and Components

Reports describing a bone anchored hearing device have been found since the 1700s. Implanted devices such as the BAHA began in 1977. The BAHA became commercially available to the public in 1987. (Information obtained through the International Journal of Health Science, July 2007)

The BAHA has two components: a magnet or abutment which is surgically implanted into the skull and an external sound/speech processor which is worn on the head or ear.

Candidates

Children and adults with a conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss or single sided deafness.

How Does it Work?

Sound is collected and the vibrations are transferred to a small titanium implant inserted in the bone behind the ear. The sound vibrations are then sent directly through the bone to the inner ear (cochlea) where they are converted into electrical impulses by tiny hair cells.

Management

An evaluation for candidacy is conducted by an audiologist and, if determined to be a candidate, a BAHA demonstration may be administered the same day to allow one to hear from a BAHA external device. This provides the candidate the experience to determine the BAHA’s benefits. If surgery is desired an appointment is scheduled with an otolaryngologist to discuss the surgical aspects. Once implanted, adjustments are made by an audiologist to obtain optimal hearing.