Checklist for parents of a child with a Baha system

baha-attract-children

Baha Attract user Alex with mom Chrissy

If your child recently has, or is about to have, Baha surgery, there are some things to think about – especially directly afterwards. You will find answers to most of your questions in the support section on www.cochlear.com or the Support App.

Here’s a short checklist on how you can support your child at home in the best way!

After surgery 

DO maintain good daily hygiene to avoid redness or soreness
DON’T let dirt get into the abutment – use the press-on abutment cover whenever your child is not wearing the Baha sound processor
DO wash your child’s hair carefully and use an alcohol-free abutment cleaning wipe to keep the skin clean
DON’T rub the implant area dry, but gently pat it instead

washing-hair-after-surgery

Cleaning the abutment area

DO clean the outside of the abutment daily using mild soap and plenty of warm water
DON’T leave any hair wrapped around the abutment
DO clean the inside of the abutment weekly, using the abutment cleaning wipe
DON’T ignore soreness or inflammation – contact your health care professional if your child is sore or if the abutment should feel loose

Caring for the Baha sound processor

DO clean the sound processor regularly with a sound processor cleaning wipe, and clean the snap with the small sound processor brush
DON’T leave the battery inside the Baha sound processor after use, as this drains battery life

isabella-attract-magnet

Baha Attract user Isabella with mom and younger brother

Baha Sound Processor Magnet

DO keep the magnet away from magnetic cards (e.g. credit cards, bus cards, etc.) as the magnetic strip may be affected
DON’T place any other magnets (e.g. fridge magnets) over the implant
DO keep the magnet clean by using a soft wipe
DON’T use running water

Washing the Baha Softband

DO hand wash your child’s softband in 40°C (104°F)
DON’T tumble-dry

Watch: Melissa, mother of Isabella, shares their surgery experience in the video below:

How can I wear the Baha 5 SuperPower so I won’t get feedback?

QuestionI upgraded my Baha device to a Baha 5 SuperPower and am, for the most part, happy with the results. However, I am having feedback issues due to the close distance of the abutment to the sound processor. Do you ever recommend moving the abutment? // Rock

Answer: Dear Rock,

In some cases, people who upgrade to the Baha 5 SuperPower may find there is limited space between the abutment and the ear which could increase the risk for feedback. With this in mind, Cochlear created a flexible wearing system that allows you to wear the sound processor under the ear. We have developed a special ear hook to support this and have so far noted good results with this option.

Instead of moving the abutment, I recommend that you contact your hearing care professional to evaluate if wearing your sound processor under the ear instead of behind the ear could be a way to overcome the feedback.

~ Fredrik Breitholtz, Head of Training and Clinical Communication, Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions

Upgrading from the BP100 to the Baha 5 Sound Processor

baha-5-cochlear-smallest-sound-processor

QuestionOur son has the old BP100 and wants to consider transitioning to the Baha 5 Sound Processor. Will he be able to use the old abutment, or does that need to be removed and a new one placed?

Also, if he requires a new abutment, is that surgery usually done as an outpatient now under local anesthesia? // Tom

Answer: Hi Tom.

There is no need for your son to change the abutment when transitioning to the Baha 5 Sound Processor. At Cochlear we strive to make sure that all our current users can upgrade to the latest technology and to facilitate this we have used the same abutment connection since 1999. If someone should need to change the abutment for other reasons, this is usually done as an outpatient procedure.

Since its launch in 2015, the Baha 5 Sound Processor has proven very successful. Its small size, excellent sound quality and smart wireless features have all been very appreciated by people upgrading from the BP100. Your son should notice an improvement in his hearing experience and will no doubt get to try it out before making a final choice.

Your hearing healthcare specialist will recommend what hearing solution is best for your son.

Best of luck!

//The Baha Blog team

Read also: Fitness instructor Carole upgraded from a BP100 to a Baha 5

 

Going from the abutment to the magnetic Baha Attract System

Question: I got the abutment implanted in October of 2009, received my Baha BP100 Sound Processor in January of 2010. I had several issues with feedback and we couldn’t get it to quit. The feedback was sporadic and everyday. I have quit wearing the processor because of the pain from the feedback.

Here lately the area around the abutment is tender and sore to the touch. I also keep feeling like the skin is trying to grow around the edges, but it hurts to clean the skin off. My doctor said it doesn’t appear to be infected and has recommended that I upgrade to the Baha 5 Sound Processor. He also recommended I change from the abutment to the new Baha Attract System.

Has anyone changed from the abutment to the Baha Attract? Are there feedback issues like I had before?

Thanks for any help. I just don’t want to start fighting my insurance and getting another surgery for no gain. // John

Answer: Hi John, sorry to hear about your struggles.

Both the Baha Connect and Baha Attract Systems are well-proven and have helped thousands of people all over the world. The difference between the two is the way that the sound processor attaches to the implant.

In the Baha Connect System, that you are using, the sound processor snaps on to an abutment. In the Baha Attract System the sound processor is attached to a sound processor magnet. Another magnet is fixed to the implant under the skin and the sound processor is held in place on your head by the two magnets. So the Baha Attract System is practically invisible when the sound processors are not attached, since the implants are hidden beneath the skin.

In answer to your question, yes we know of several people who successfully have gone from the Baha Connect to the Baha Attract System. In the global consensus outcomes of 2014, a group of experienced Baha surgeons from USA and Europe all agreed that good outcomes may be achieved when transitioning patients from an abutment to a magnetic connection. It’s recommended that an evaluation of the hearing experience with the Baha sound processor on a Softband is done before switching systems, to give you an idea of what your hearing will be like.

Since the launch, the Baha 5 Sound Processor has proven very successful. The small size, sound quality and wireless audio streaming directly to and from a range of accessories and from your iPhone, have all been very appreciated by people upgrading from the BP100. You will definitely notice a big improvement in your hearing experience.

Your hearing healthcare specialist will recommend what hearing solution is best for you.

Best of luck!

//The Baha Blog team

Read more: “It’s so light, I even forget I have it on” – Baha 5 Attract user Jon

Video: How the Baha Connect System works

The Baha Connect System is a well-proven bone conduction hearing system. It features Cochlear’s unique minimally invasive DermaLock technology which helps preserves the hair and skin around the abutment, thus improving the aesthetics after surgery. Watch how it works in the video above.

baha-5-blond-sound-processorWatch how fitness instructor Carole’s Baha 5 Sound Processor stays on during her spinning class here.

Read more about the Baha Connect System

Can you feel the abutment while sleeping?

sleeping-on-Baha-side

QuestionDoes the Baha Connect System cause any discomfort in use? Can the abutment put pressure on my head in contact with mattress while I am sleeping? // Wesley

Answer: Hi Wesley,

Most people cannot “feel” the implant or abutment once the implant site and surrounding skin have healed after the surgery.. This usually resolves over time. You may hear some sounds as you rub the implant against a pillow or similar, but there is an abutment cover available to cover it if it bothers you.

Your hearing care professional will be able to provide more information about the expected healing time and possible side effects.

~ The Baha Blog team

What are the benefits of the Baha System?

Question: Thank you very much for responding to me once already, it’s very much appreciated. However; I’d like to find out more about the Baha DermaLock Abutment – would this be appropriate for my situation?

I have so called SUDDEN SENSORINEURAL HEARING LOSS in my left ear and I did all possible treatments from the day that happened, in ear steroids and oral, along with hyperberic oxygen therapy. I am now on day 46 and no hearing has come back. I am at about 90dB profound hearing loss. My major problem is being in places with noises or anywhere that there are people talking at the same time! It sounds muffled and makes it very hard to hear from the good ear also, and that is what makes me uncomfortable more than just hearing from one ear. My ENT suggests the Cros hearing aids but I am not sure…

So my questions are :
A. Can the DermaLock Abutment be good for me?
B. Will the Baha System fix some of this annoying situation in group talking, restaurants etc?
C. Will this Baha System show on the outside on my skin? I would like you to send some pics for me to see .
D. Will it help my tinnitus a bit also?

Finally, can you recommend a specialist in central NJ area that do this surgery?
I appreciate all you can tell me , after all it’s all new to me and I do love life and would very much like to do everything i was doing. I have been isolate from lots of my friends because of the muffleness caused by restaurant noise and people talking or my wife vacuuming the house!
Please help . // Pietro

Answer: Dear Pietro, thanks for reaching out to us.

First, to clarify, we are not able to give medical advice to individuals. Only a hearing care professional can recommend what hearing solution is best for you. I can however try to answer your questions the best I can.

A. A DermaLock Abutment is one way to connect the sound processor to the implant. This type of direct system is called the Baha Connect System. We also have the Baha Attract System. This system uses two magnets, one under the skin and one above, to connect the sound processor to the implant. Your hearing care professional will help you decided which system is best for you. The great thing about a Baha System is that you can try it out before moving forward with surgery by  listening through the sound processor on a Baha Softband. This will give you a good understanding of the benefit you can expect.

B. With a Baha System you can generally relieve the problem from having the muffled experience you describe when someone is talking on your hearing impaired side. The problem you are experiencing is what’s called the “head shadow effect”. This means that high frequency soundwaves coming from your impaired side are “shadowed” by your head and don’t reach your hearing ear. The lower frequency sound waves are better able to reach your hearing ear and this is what causes the muffled sound. With a Baha System on your impaired side the sound is captured and sent as vibrations through the bone directly to your hearing ear, alleviating the problem and making it easier to hear more clearly from both sides.

C. This depends on what system you use. Because the Baha Attract System uses magnets, there is nothing visible when you are not wearing your sound processor. You can find several pictures of Baha Attract users on this blog, such as this one. If you use the Baha Connect System then yes, the small abutment is visible when you are not wearing your sound processor. Recent technology developments have dramatically improved the aesthetics of an abutment system. You can also find pictures of Baha Connect users on this blog, such as this one of Nancy:

baha5-colors-copper

D. Regarding tinnitus relief, this is a question that your hearing care professional will be better suited to answer. I would definitely encourage you to get in contact with a professional to evaluate your situation and reach out to people who have been in your situation.

Cochlear runs events where you can meet with Baha System users and get more information. Here is a link to the event calendar in the US.  If you’d like, we can have your local engagement manager contact you directly. Send us your email details and we’ll have her reach out to you.

Use this tool to find a Baha clinic in your area!

 

~ Fredrik Breitholtz, Head of Training and Clinical Communication, Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions