Video: How the Baha Attract System works

The Baha Attract System is a comfortable and easy to use hearing system that requires no daily skin care. The sound processor is easy to handle, and snaps onto an external magnet to hold it in place, as seen in the video above.

Baha-5-magnet-hearing-aidJon and his wife noticed a great difference in his hearing after he got his Baha Attract System. Watch his story here.

 

What’s it like living with the Baha System?

QuestionI lost all hearing in my left ear last year following a failed stapedectomy operation; resulting in total sensorineural deafness due to damaged inner ear. I have Otosclerosis and have moderate hearing loss in my right ear as well (hence the reason I went for the operation).

Since the operation I’ve been struggling to cope with having only partial hearing. After living with two functioning ears (albeit without perfect hearing) for 40 years and now being left single sided deaf is truly awful (to put it mildly).

I’ve been offered a Baha solution on the NHS and have trialled the Cochlear test ‘headband’ as well as the CROS aid. I’ve been impressed with both but found the Baha solution gave a more ‘natural’ sound and I’m feeling fairly confident that I’m going to go with it (the ‘Baha Connect’ version, not ‘Baha Attract’). I had good results from the bone conduction test (scoring 90% in the speech recognition part).

I do, however, have several questions/concerns about living with the implant and sound processor:

1) Is it painful to lie on or if it gets knocked? I’m worried that it might make sleeping difficult when I rest my head on the implant side.

2) How does the sound quality/amplification compare with the test headband? I’ve read that the real thing is better but how much louder/clearer is it eg – 10% 20% 30% more?

3) Is the Baha sound processor uncomfortable if worn all day?

4) Since losing the hearing on one side my tinnitus has become even worse. For Baha users, does it become any less noticeable in the longer term? (Why is there no cure for tinnitus yet?!!)

Obviously I will be asking the qualified people at hospital these questions and more, but it would be really helpful if I can get some answers here.

Thanks! // Drew

Answer: Hi Drew,

Congratulations on your decision of getting a Baha System! Let me try to answer your questions, one by one:

1) You will not be able to “feel” the implant, however the tissue around it may feel sore or numb right 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.

2) This is impossible to answer exactly as it varies from person to person, however, as a rule of thumb we say that the amplification increases by about 10-15 dB when attaching the sound processor to the implant compared to the headband. The biggest increase is in the high frequencies which will make the sound clearer.

3) When the Baha sound processor is attached to the implant you will not feel that you are wearing anything.

4) Tinnitus may be caused by hearing loss like you experience. Research has shown that for some users the tinnitus is relieved when using the Baha System, however, that is nothing we can promise.

Always consult a hearing healthcare specialist who can recommend what hearing solution is best for you.

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

Read more: 12 golden rules for living with your Baha System

I am deaf in one ear, can the Baha System help me?

QuestionI am 59 years old and been deaf in my left ear all my life (the nerve is dead say the experts). Could this new device do anything for me? // Terry

Answer: Dear Terry,

The Baha System is a good solution for single sided deafness (SSD), in fact it’s one of the most common reasons to get a Baha System. Using bone conduction the system will send the sound as vibrations through the skull and transfer them from the poor side to the good hearing side, to give 360 degree sound awareness. The fact that your nerve is dead does not matter.

As long as you have normal hearing in your good ear, a Baha System should provide benefit. Another good thing is that you can test the Baha System and the benefit you get before you go ahead with the surgery!

Always consult a hearing healthcare specialist who can recommend what hearing solution is best for you.

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

baha-single-sided-deafness-cochlear

 

Read more: How bone conduction works

Early treatment of hearing loss helps children’s development

Treating babies with hearing loss has a positive effect on their future learning.

Various studies show that children who suffer from mild and moderate hearing loss are not given enough support in school, which has negative effects on their academic achievements. An Australian long-term study found evidence that early treatment of hearing loss, as young as six months, benefits children’s development. The study followed 450 Australian children with hearing loss. From birth and through school, the children’s long-term speech, language, psycho-social and educational outcomes have been measured and compared.

Lead researcher of the study, Dr. Teresa Ching, stresses the importance of early intervention:

“Our assessment of the children at 5 years clearly shows that the earlier the intervention the better the outcome for the child’s development. Early detection and early treatment is vital before development delays set in.”

If your child has a conductive hearing loss or is deaf in one ear, a Baha Softband can help. It’s designed specifically for infants and toddlers and is an ideal first step for children not yet ready for an implant. It is also a practical way to evaluate if your child can benefit from a bone conduction hearing solution.

Lucy, Baha Softband user, USA

Lucy, Baha Softband user, USA

 

Read more about different types of hearing loss, how each can affect your child and how they can be treated

 

Bone conduction in the news: used in military helmets

bone-conduction-helmet

Bone conduction technology is nothing new – it was discovered in 1550 after all – but it’s not until now the phenomenon is starting to spread from Baha hearing devices to other fields. It’s been used in products like Google Glass and in advertising already and of course headphones. And now the military are taking note.

BAE Systems (the merge of British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems) have developed a new type of helmet that enables soldiers to hear radio commands from their superiors, while wearing ear protectors.

The helmet is able to pick up radio communications and convert the audio waves using a transducer that is only the size of a five pence coin.

“We recognise that on the battlefield, auditory situational awareness is essential for armed forces personnel. With this system, the soldiers can safeguard their hearing with ear protectors whilst still clearly receiving military voice communications, to enable them to perform their roles efficiently and safely,” says Mohammed Akhmad, principal scientist at BAE Systems. “Through collaborating directly with our customer, we are able to understand their operational challenges and translate them into technical solutions.”

bone-condution-used-in-military

Am I a candidate for the Baha System?

Question: I have had hearing loss since birth. I am now 54 years old and I am struggling with my hearing. I cannot hear in one ear at all. I wear a hearing aid in the good ear. I struggle hearing conversations etc. One hearing place that I got a couple of hearing aids said they no longer help me because the hearing aid is not working for me.

So I went to my ENT doctor and after a couple of appointments he felt I would be a good candidate for the Baha device. But the audiologist I see said I wouldn’t be because my good ear doesn’t have a certain decimal for in order for the Baha System to work for me.

My question is if I am not a candidate for this, how can people that are totally deaf from birth have this done? Thank you!!

//Veronica

Answer: Dear Veronica,

There are many causes of hearing loss, and this will dictate which hearing solution that will be the best choice. The Baha System is mainly useful for candidates that are deaf in one ear and hear normally in the other ear – or if you have a problem in the outer or middle ear where bone conduction can bypass this problem. For people that are born deaf the cochlear implant is the solution of choice. This is also a technology that we have developed at Cochlear.

Every hearing loss is unique and your hearing care professional is trained to counsel you on how to treat it. Another option is to seek the opinion of another hearing care professional.

Best of luck!

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

Is a bone conduction implant better than a CROS aid?

QuestionHi, my son aged 10 has SSD and was being assessed for a cochlear implant. It was all looking positive until the CT scan showed the bone (?) is thinner than normal and they do not want to risk the surgery (somehow related to the carotid artery?). So now they are offering a bone conduction implant. He already wears a CROS aid.

My question is, will the implant be any better than the CROS device? I do not want to put him through an invasive procedure if it does the same as the CROS. Thanks.

//Davina

Answer: Dear Davina,

It is impossible to say if a Baha System will be better than the CROS solution for your child, however, many candidates do try the CROS solution and later go for a Baha System. You should always discuss with your health care professional what the best option is for you.

One of the benefits with the Baha System is that you can actually try it before you go through the surgery. Your audiologist can place the sound processor on an elastic band to let your child wear it temporarily and evaluate the benefit. Once you have decided what to go for you should be aware that the surgery involved is minor and does not pose a risk to your child’s hearing.

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