Baha SoundArc FAQs Answered

Picture: Baha® SoundArc will be available in five colours – pink, turquoise, green, grey and brown. The default colour is black. The color tips are not available until CE marked.
Picture: Baha SoundArc can be easily worn with eye-glasses
Picture: Baha SoundArc is a great non-implantable bone conduction solution for children who are too young or not ready for a bone conduction system

1. When will the Baha SoundArc be available?

The Baha SoundArc is CE marked and FDA cleared. Exact commercial availability dates will vary from country to country. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for information specific to your location.

2. Who is the Baha SoundArc for?

Baha SoundArc is intended for children and aduls with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss and single-sided sensorineural deafness (SSD). It can be used as a demo tool when trialling for a bone conduction implant, or as long-term solution for patients who cannot or do not wish to move forward to an implanted bone conduction system.

Baha SoundArc is an effective non-surgical way to experience bone conduction hearing, and an important first step to hearing your best with a bone conduction implant.

3. Where can I trial or get the Baha SoundArc?

The Baha SoundArc is dispensed by your hearing healthcare professional. Find the clinic near you by using this tool.

4. How much does the Baha SoundArc cost?

Pricing will vary from country to country, but is expected to be similar to other non-surgical wearing options currently on the market.

5. What sizes is the Baha SoundArc available in?

The Baha SoundArc is currently available in four sizes – S, M, L, XL.

6. Can I wear the Baha SoundArc with glasses?

Absolutely! The Baha SoundArc should sit behind the head, above the ears, leaving plenty of room for use with eye glasses.

7. Can the Baha SoundArc be fitted with two sound processors?

Yes. You only need to add a second Connector Disc to make it suitable for bilateral use.

8. What sound processors can be used with a Baha SoundArc?

The Baha SoundArc is compatible with all Baha 5 generation sound processors – Baha 5 Sound Processor, Baha 5 Power Sound Processor and Baha 5 SuperPower Sound Processor.

9. Is the Baha SoundArc covered by insurance?

Insurance coverage or reimbursement may vary from country to country. Contact your healthcare provider for more specific information.

10. When will the colour tips be available?

The color tips will be available when CE marked. Check with your local Cochlear representative.

11. How do I choose between the Softband and SoundArc?

Both solutions are equally effective and the choice should be based on your preference and what device delivers the best fit for you. Please note that the Baha Softband may be a better solution for infants and toddlers that spend a lot of time laying down or in car seats, as well as for some patients with significant craniofacial abnormalities.

12. What is the care and maintenance required for Baha SoundArc?

The Baha SoundArc is a durable solution that can be easily cleaned with soap and water or germicidal wipes. The Baha SoftWear™ Pad should always be used when wearing the SoundArc and replaced regularly as needed.

This is how bone conduction treats hearing loss

When left unaddressed, hearing loss has a tremendously negative global effect, according to a 2017 World Health Organisation report. Identifying the early signs of hearing impairment is the first step to addressing a problem for which, fortunately enough, there are solutions. Treatment is available for virtually all types of hearing loss and can consist of medications, hearing aids, or a hearing implants, depending on which part of the ear is affected and the degree of hearing loss.

A bone conduction implant is a recommended treatment for conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss and single-sided sensorineural deafness (SSD). Cochlear’s two bone conduction implant systems – Baha® Connect and Baha Attract – are both indicated for individuals with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss and SSD.

As explained in a previous post, choosing between a Baha Connect and Baha Attract System depends upon a variety of factors, including the degree of hearing loss.

Baha Connect – the abutment system – is a percutaneous or through-the-skin implant system. It consists of an implant, abutment, and sound processor. A well-proven bone conduction hearing system, the Baha Connect System features the minimally invasive DermaLock™ technology, which facilitates the preservation of the hair and skin around the abutment, helping you heal and hear sooner.

Baha Attract – the magnetic system – is a transcutaneous, or an under-the-skin implant system.  It is comprised of an implant, a magnetic attachment and sound processor. The Baha Attract System is a highly effective bone conduction hearing system designed to leave the skin intact.

Transitioning from one system to another may be possible in certain circumstances. For instance, if a person chooses the Baha Attract System, and there is a sizeable change in his or her hearing, it is possible to remove the magnet and attach an abutment to provide a direct to the implant which can provide more power. Conversely, if a recipient needs to transition to a completely under-the-skin system because of lifestyle or soft tissue concerns, the abutment can be removed and an implant magnet can be attached.  In both instances, the person can almost always use the same sound processor.

Cochlear is the only manufacturer that provides this choice and flexibility, based on the patient’s needs.

 

Hearing loss types that can be treated with bone conduction

The types of hearing loss are classified by the part of the ear that is damaged or not functioning correctly. Hearing loss caused by problems in the outer ear and/or middle ear are referred to as conductive hearing loss. When the cause is problems with the inner ear (cochlea) it is referred to as sensory hearing loss, and when caused by the auditory nerve it is referred to as neural hearing loss. It most cases, sensory and neural hearing loss are grouped together and referred to as sensorineural hearing loss.

The degrees of hearing loss are classified as:

  • Mild hearing loss makes hearing soft noises and understanding conversations in noisy environments more difficult
  • Moderate hearing loss means an inability to hear both soft and moderately loud noises. Discerning speech becomes very difficult if there is background noise
  • Severe hearing loss makes even one-on-one conversations difficult without a hearing aid
  • Profound hearing loss means only some very loud noises are heard. A hearing aid is essential

 

Conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss describes hearing impairment in the outer ear or middle ear. It occurs when the sound vibrations cannot be conducted to the inner ear (the cochlea) through the outer and middle ear. You can easily mimic conductive hearing loss by simply plugging up your ears with your fingers – and there you have it! You will be able to understand speech, but only if it’s loud enough and if the background is not noisy. In many cases, and depending on the degree of hearing loss, a bone conduction implant – like the Baha 5 System – is the recommended treatment.

Sensorineural hearing loss

Typically occurring as you get older, although people can be born with this type of loss, sensorineural hearing loss affects the inner ear – the cochlea, or the auditory nerve. People who suffer from sensorineural hearing loss might perceive sounds, but they don’t always understand what people are saying.

Single-sided deafness falls under this type of hearing loss, describing unilateral profound sensorineural hearing loss – no hearing or very little hearing in one ear, and normal hearing in the other ear. This type of hearing loss is typically treated with a bone conduction system.

Mixed hearing loss

This type of hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Damage in both the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear is present. This type of hearing loss ranges in severity from mild to profound. People who suffer from mixed hearing loss describe sounds as being both softer in volume and more difficult to understand. Mixed hearing loss can also be treated with a bone conduction system, depending on the degree of hearing loss.

In the next article, read about the bone conduction solutions recommended for the treatment of conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss, and single-sided deafness.

Sources:
  1. Global costs of unadressed hearing loss and cost efectivess of interventions
  2. What is hearing loss?
 

In a nutshell: the global impact of hearing loss

Disabling hearing impairment affects more than 360 million people – over 5% of the world’s population, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). In less than 30 years, the estimated number of people affected by hearing disability had skyrocketed from 42 million in 1985 to about 360 million in 2011. WHO also warns that 1.1 billion young people (12-35 years) are at risk of hearing loss due to recreational noise.

WHO defines disabling hearing loss as “hearing loss greater than 40 decibel (dB) in the better hearing ear in adults and a hearing loss greater than 30 dB in the better hearing ear in children”.

Identifying the early signs of hearing loss is of crucial importance not only for the ones affected, but also for the global economy, which sees 750 billion international dollars lost to unaddressed hearing loss.

Interested in learning more? Check out the WHO 2017 report on the impact of hearing on the global economy.

Cochlear announces the release of the Baha® SoundArc

News from Cochlear

The latest non-implantable bone conduction innovation from Cochlear is here! The Baha SoundArc is a new hearing solution for people who live with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss or single-sided sensorineural deafness (SSD). It is the world’s first non-surgical, behind-the-head bone conduction hearing device, specially designed for children who are not ready for a bone conduction implant and adults who want to trial bone conduction in everyday situations.

Picture: Baha SoundArc. Available in sizes S, M, L, and XL. The color tips are not available until CE marked.

“All previous non-surgical devices have used the head or ears to aid in retention. With the Baha SoundArc we needed to find a way to deliver excellent sound quality, power performance and fit all different head shapes and sizes – without compromising on comfort”, says Mats Dotevall, Director of Design & Development at Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions AB (CBAS).

With the introduction of the Baha SoundArc, Cochlear adds another unique device to its broad portfolio of bone conduction hearing options. The aesthetically appealing and easy-to-wear Baha SoundArc works together with all of Cochlear’s Baha 5 sound processors.

Picture: The Baha SoundArc is an excellent option for children who are not ready for a bone conduction implant

The Baha SoundArc is expected to become a popular choice for both adults and children. User satisfaction was tested during a first experience program in a number of selected clinics in the UK from April to June 2017. The reported results were excellent, with an overall satisfaction rating of more than 85% in take-home trials.

“For us it’s not about a one-size fits all approach, it’s about innovating and making sure our customers have options that fit both their lifestyle and their stage in life”, says Rom Mendel, President of Acoustics at CBAS.

The availability of the Baha SoundArc will differ from country to country. Please check the availability in your country with your local Cochlear office.

Read the press release here.

Meet the Team

The Baha® 5 and Baha® 5 Power sound processors are developed, designed and shipped from Sweden worldwide, but did you know they are also manufactured and assembled here too? The concept, design, development, testing, manufacturing, packing and logistics are all done under one roof!

Meet some of the great people who work together to design, test and manufacture the Baha System at Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions.

The Production Team

These are the people who make sure that all details are perfectly put in place so that the sound processors meet all requirements. It takes less than thirty minutes to produce one sound processor, and every fourth minute a new unit is packed and ready to be shipped!

The Research and Applications Team

Our team of audiologists and acoustical engineers are the ones who make sure that the Baha 5 sound processors and accessories are adapted to the specific needs of the recipients.

How do they do this?

By meeting hundreds of people every year to evaluate the hearing performance and benefits of the implant systems. They also manage sponsored clinical trials of the Baha system at clinics all around the world, including the largest ever clinical investigation undertaken for bone conduction hearing implants – an ongoing project that involves seven countries across Europe!

The Design & Development Team

Our Implant Engineers and Acoustic System Engineers are a small part of the team who design, develop and test our implants and sound processors, making sure that each individual component is fine tuned and works together as an entire Baha System.

The Product Management Team

Have you ever wondered how the features of your sound processor and implant have been developed to meet your needs?

Our Product Managers have a fundamental role in ensuring the voice of the customer is at the centre of all sound processor and the implant system development. From meeting with users, audiologists, ENT surgeons and educating professionals, to establishing close collaborations with research teams all around the world, they help drive product innovation that makes a difference to the lives of the people who rely on a Baha System to hear each day.

Happy 40 years anniversary from our entire team at Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions in Sweden!

Final Countdown: 10 Days to Go

… until we reveal the latest innovation from Cochlear! It’s expected to become a very popular choice for people who need a non-implantable bone conduction solution or those interested in trialling bone conduction before surgery. Why? It’s comfortable, sleek and you can experience all the benefits of bone conduction hearing.

The product has been designed and developed by the Cochlear team in Sweden, who share a few words about the latest bone conduction solution.

Left to right: Linnea Agostino, Gunilla Landin, Jenny Andersson, Henrik Frylund, Stefan Magnander, Fredrik Boivie

The “Aha” Moment

“We had an “Aha” moment when we realised we should take the learnings from projects like Baha Attract and Baha Softband, and combine them into a new, fully customisable and discreet product”, says Henrik Fyrlund, Senior Project Engineer.

Simple, yet well thought-out

“What we were passionate about was finding the right design that was going to make the product perfect from an engineering perspective – the finesse of the small details! What we have today is a simple, yet well thought-out product, that can easily adapt to suit different individuals”, says Fredrik Boivie, Project Leader.

That’s when we understood how big the interest was

“In May this year we attended the Osseo 2017 Congress – the most prestigious event for osseointegrated hearing solutions – where we publicly presented our innovation for the first time. When people started storming in to our presentation booth, we understood how big the interest was. Around 90% of the participants tested the product at the congress”, reveals Jenny Andersson, Clinical Research Audiologist.

Interested to find out more about what’s coming soon? Stay tuned for updates!