You asked… we answer: Upgrading from Divino to the Baha 4 Sound Processor

Baha-Sound-processor-DivinoBaha 4 Sound Processor

Question: Hello there!! I have had bone conduction hearing aids since the age of 2 (1981). In 2008 I had the Divino placed on my left side. It worked extremely well. I decided to only have one side put in at first to see how it would work. I decided not to do the other side. A few months ago my Divino was starting to act up and I took it in to a local audiologist to have them look at it to see what the repair costs would be. Unfortunately they said that Cochlear was not fixing these anymore. I looked it up and they stopped fixing them in 2012. I am currently in the process of upgrading to the Baha 4 Sound Processor. I am amazed at how much technology has changed in the Baha. My questions are as follows:

1) Will the abutment that I currently have with the Divino work with the Baha 4?

2) Do I need to have another surgery to have the correct abutment put in or is this done in office?

3) Will I get the same quality of hearing if not better with the abutment I currently have?

4) I’ve seen that I get one free wireless accessory and want to get the Phone Clip, but what other accessories do you think I should get?

I am glad I found this blog – it has been informational. Thank you for your time!

Jeff Keller, Divino user since 2008

Answer: Hi Jeff! Thank you for your questions. I am glad that you have received such benefit from your sound processor. Yes, the technology has changed, and certainly studies have shown you should receive a large benefit from the Baha 4 Sound Processor!

Baha-blog-phone-clipThe Baha 4 Sound Processor and wireless phone clip

Enabling people to upgrade their sound processor as technology improves is very important for us at Cochlear. All Baha sound processors use the same ‘snap coupling’ so there is no need to change the abutment. The snap coupling is a very efficient mechanism of sound transfer from the sound processor to the implant. You won’t gain any hearing performance by changing the abutment.

In the past few years we have increased the amount by which the sound processor is configured individually. You will benefit from the improved hearing performance of the latest technology, which is specifically fitted by the hearing care professional for your hearing loss.

With the Baha 4 Sound Processor you will have access to four wireless accessories. The Phone Clip is a popular choice as it can easily work like a Bluetooth headset for your telephone. It also allows you to change the program and volume so it doubles up as a remote control. Many people, especially parents, see great advantages with the Mini Microphone as it improves speech understanding in noise, for example a restaurant or classroom.

Good luck!

~ Mark C. Flynn, PhD Audiologist, Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions

Cochlear™ Anders Tjellström Scholarship Award 2014/15

Cochlear_Anders_Tjellstrom_Scholarship

Do YOU want to apply for a £6,000 education scholarship?

The UK Anders Tjellström Scholarship has been set up to help Baha recipients achieve more in continuing to higher education at an accredited university, college or other education institution.

If you are:

  • a Cochlear UK Baha System Implant recipient,
  • completing your final year of school or Sixth Form College and have been accepted onto a university or tertiary education course,
  • a mature aged student or a younger student currently undertaking a university degree or other tertiary education course,

– then you can apply for this prestigious award!

Cochlear is proud to support academic excellence and take pride in opening up the world of sound to our recipients and seeing how they use the capabilities of their Cochlear Baha to help attain major milestones on their journey to academic and personal success.

The scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic achievement and a demonstrated commitment to the Cochlear ideals of leadership and humanity. (One prize winner).

The deadline for applications is 31 October 2014.

To find out more and to request an application form, please email kking@cochlear.com or visit www.cochlear.com/uk.

Baha Attract in the News: New Technology Helps First Grader Hear

Ian-Lantz-Baha-Attract

First grader Ian Lantz wasn’t diagnosed with single-sided deafness until he started preschool and both parents and teachers noticed that something wasn’t right. He didn’t listen in class and struggled to keep up with his classmates.

At first they thought Ian had an attention disorder – but it soon became clear that he simply couldn’t hear anything in his left ear.

Neither hearing aids or cochlear implants were an option for Ian. But the Baha Attract System was!

Dr. Eytan Young of the Iowa ENT Center says:

“Ian is very lucky because he’s the first child in central Iowa to receive a fully implantable device that no longer requires you to have anything coming through the skin. It’s a major breakthrough for children and adults for that matter.”

Watch Ian’s story!

Eytan-Young-Baha-Attract

Ian-Lantz-magnetic-hearing-device

“One year on from the greatest gift for our girl” – how one community raised enough money for a little girl to get ear reconstruction

Alana-Baha-user

In August 2012, two Australian parents decided to start raising money to give their then three-year-old hearing impaired girl an operation that could only be done 11,000 kms away in the US – and had the potential to change her life forever.

Last year on August 13, little Alana finally received her life-changing surgery, correcting her malformed external ears and giving her the gift of hearing with a bone conduction device.

It was all done thanks to the generous community of Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia who raised $108,000 for the family to help their daughter get the surgery she needed.

Four weeks after the surgery, Alana’s fifth birthday came around while she was recovering in her hotel room.

“Taking her for a hearing test that afternoon, we just hoped they’d showed improvement”, says Mom Emma Reid. “But we were in for a huge shock. ‘Alana’s hearing loss is now only moderate to mild,’ the doctor said. ‘And it’s likely to improve further in the next few months.’ It was the best birthday gift we could have ever given her.”

Today Alana is six and goes to school like any child with normal hearing. And she loves her new ears!

“I know she will grow up very grateful knowing the gift she was given by a community that will forever be in our hearts”, says Emma.”

Read more about Alana’s amazing journey.

Alanas brother BaileyAlana

For someone with Alana’s medical condition, atresia/microtia, bone conduction devices are the only option for better hearing. Due to their deformed ears and ear canals, they cannot benefit from in-the-ear hearing aids. Now the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in the United States have proposed a new rule to eliminate Medicare coverage of bone anchored hearing solutions. This means that for people like Alana, the gift of hearing will no longer be available to them.

Help us stop this from happening by visiting www.HelpNowHearAlways.com and signing the petition!

Do you know the first signs of hearing loss?

The first symptoms of hearing loss aren’t always obvious. However, it’s important to know that most hearing losses get worse over time. The earlier a problem is detected and treated, the greater your chances of preventing further hearing loss – and getting the right treatment for you.

Studies show that untreated hearing loss can have mental, physical and psychological impacts*. Whether it happens suddenly or gradually over time, hearing loss can leave you feeling depressed and disconnected from the people around you. Straining to hear all day can make you feel frustrated and exhausted. Hearing loss is also linked to impaired memory, learning ability and job performance.

Most of the Baha users we meet usually share one regret – that they didn’t get help sooner. So learn to identify the early signs of hearing loss!

Do you

  • have difficulty hearing conversations, especially with background noise?
  • frequently ask people to repeat what they have said?
  • misunderstand what people say?
  • find it difficult to hear on the telephone?
  • turn up the volume on the TV or radio louder than others in the room prefer?
  • feel that people are mumbling when they talk?
  • have difficulty hearing sounds of nature, such as birds or rain drops?
  • find yourself agreeing or nodding your head during conversations when you’re not sure what’s been said?
  • remove yourself from conversations because it’s too difficult to hear?
  • read lips in order to understand what people are saying?
  • find yourself straining to hear or keep up with conversations?
  • experience tinnitus (a persistent ringing, buzzing or other sound)?

If you answer yes to several of these questions, you should contact your nearest clinic or a health professional.

 

* National Academy on an Aging Society, Hearing Loss: A Growing Problem that Affects the Quality of Life, December, 1999.

BBC news story: Baha user Kieran, 9, got new ears created from his ribs

kieran-sorkin-baha-user

How amazing is this!

Baha user Kieran Sorkin, 9, got new ears –  completely made of cartilage from his ribs!

Kieran was born with bilateral atresia/microtia which meant that both his ears were just small lobes. His hearing loss was helped at a young age with Baha implants but nothing was done about his ears – until now.

Kieran was teased at school and wanted nothing but to look like everyone else, ever since he saw a TV programme at age six about ear surgery.

“Everytime I see someone I think to myself, ‘I want ears like that’,” says Kieran in a news clip from BBC. “And now I’m going to have them!”

The operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital in the UK took six hours, where plastic and reconstructive surgeon Neil Bulstrode took cartilage from ribs in his chest and sculpted it into a perfect pair of ears. He used Kieran’s mother Louise’s ears as framework.

“Mom, I’m going to have your ears!” exclaimed a delighted Kieran in the video clip.

Mr Bulstrode grafted the ears onto Kieran’s head under pockets of skin and then used a vacuum to shape the skin to over the contours.

Kieran’s father, David Sorkin, said:

“We’re absolutely on cloud nine. We could not have wished for a better result. They look like normal ears, he had nothing but has got proper sized ears now and they cover the gap where ears should have been. They look normal bar a couple of sewing marks which will go away in time. His reaction was just a “wow”, he is very happy!”

kieran-sorkin-baha-hearingProud of his new ears! Kieran with his family; father David, mother Louise and sister Mia after the operation.

Mr Bulstrode said:

“This is a major operation but it brings a significant improvement in quality of life for children with microtia. Their confidence improves exponentially and their performance at school improves. If you can improve a young person’s confidence, you can alter their whole trajectory in life.”