Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA)
What is the Bone Anchored Hearing Aid?
Typical hearing aids amplify air conducted sound and output air conducted sound directly into the external ear canal. The BAHA converts sound into vibrations that are transmitted to the skull through a titanium post-coupling device that connects to the skull behind the ear.
Who Can Receive the BAHA?
- Normal hearing or minimal hearing loss in one ear and deaf in the other ear
- Persons with uncorrectable conductive hearing loss but a normal inner ear
- Conductive hearing loss because of infection
- Congenital (born) defects of ear
- Traumatic defects of ear
There are two major bone anchored hearing device brands.
Problems the BAHA Addresses:
- Hearing better in noise
- Hearing from the bad ear when in noise
- Hearing from the bad ear when the good ear is occupied on the telephone
- It does not help with telling direction of sound when the problem being addressed is a nerve-deaf ear on one side and a more normal ear on the other side.
- It does help with direction of sound when one ear is normal and the second ear has a normal inner ear but a dysfunctional middle ear conductive system.
Post Op Care Instructions
Leave the head dressing in place until the surgeon removes it at 4-6 days after surgery. Take antibiotics by mouth as prescribed. Pain medication is seldom needed for more than a day or so. After dressing removal, surgeon will specify further wound care instructions. Make a circular gauze to put around the titanium post-screw-coupling device. Cover the new circular gauze with antibiotic ointment. Place the gauze around the titanium post. Position the healing cap over the gauze to hold the gauze in place. No further need, typically, for the larger head dressing. Ask the surgeon when hair washing can resume, but it is usually allowed at 1-2 weeks after surgery. After hair washing and one other time per day, the gauze around the titanium post must be repositioned with antibiotic ointment that should cover where the titanium post comes through the skin.