Question: Since over a year I have a Baha 3 BP110 Power at my left side and I might get a second Baha as well. Not really sure, but in a week I will speak about it with my Ear Specialist. He will tell me whether it’s smart to have a second Baha, due to the fact I still can’t hear a 100%. You see, I got bilateral hearing loss (without aid I’m able to hear from between 60 – 75 dB at both sides) and before I had the Baha BP110 I wore a BTE on both sides. Now I’ve got just one Baha, which makes it quite hard to understand people when they’re right from me.
Anyway, my question is: would it make sense if I would go for the Baha 4 instead of waiting for a power model of it, just like with the Baha 3 BP110? I’ve read that the regular model already brings better sound quality, but I’m not sure if that actually does matter in my situation. Would love to hear more about this.
Answer: Thank you for your question! There are a number layers to it which I will try and work through:
Having two hearing devices provides many benefits over just having one. Key reported benefits are hearing better in noisy situations, localising where sounds are coming from, and hearing better from the other side. This is the same for hearing aids, cochlear implants and bone conduction hearing implants alike.
Interestingly, different technologies can be combined. For example, “bimodal” hearing where an implantable technology (e.g. cochlear implants or bone conduction hearing implants) is combined with a traditional hearing aid on the other side. Despite the differences in transmission, the brain is still able to separate and then combine the sounds from both devices. It is amazing what the brain manages to do.
Given that, you can absolutely have different models of bone conduction sound processors on each side. Your hearing care professional will match and balance the loudness so that they are equalised. The one aspect to consider is the level of hearing loss you have, as it may be that you are not within the range for the Baha 4 Sound Processor and may require the more powerful Baha 3 Power Sound Processor. Again your hearing care professional will run you through this.
If you are within indication of the Baha 4 Sound Processor, then you would expect to benefit from the improved hearing performance and sound quality. The wireless technology may be beneficial for you as well. That said, even if not within range, the benefits of two Baha 3 Power Sound Processors should definitely provide large benefits over one.
~ Mark C. Flynn, PhD Audiologist, Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions