In the news: Baha surgery transformed 15-year old Joey’s life


Surgeons at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital in the UK have helped transform the life of 15-year old Joey Mains by helping him hear fully for the first time.

From Chronicle Live:

15-year old Joey Mains eyes “lit up” when Newcastle doctors uttered the first words he had ever heard clearly.

For years Joey had suffered hearing and ear problems, struggling at school he was forced to learn to lip read as his confidence hit rock bottom.

Now, after an operation to fit a bone conduction hearing device at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, Joey’s life has been transformed forever. Previously, although his speech was good, his social skills in school weren’t developing well and his self esteem was hurting. Now he’s much more outgoing – and confident.

“I now realise that all along, I’d never known what it was like to be able to hear properly, to really know what the world sounded like […] I feel much more confident in myself. I can keep up with conversations.”

Baha 4 Sound Processor

At first, Joey wanted to put off the Baha operation after having to undergo no less than nine surgeries for mastoid problems between the age of four and 12.

But the Baha procedure was much easier than he thought and he returned home the same day!

Two weeks later, he was back to have his sound processor fitted – and suddenly the world became a different place.

His mother Karin says:

“Mr Johnson, the surgeon, stood behind him and said a few words which, of course, Joey couldn’t hear. Then he put the Baha sound processor on, and went back again. Suddenly Joey could hear what he was saying. I’ll always remember that moment. Joey’s eyes lit up. It was like someone had thrown a light switch. I started crying with tears of joy and relief.”

Read more: Signs of hearing loss in children

Getting fit! Fitness instructor Layla’s life was transformed by the Baha Attract System

Layla from Newcastle can hear again with her magnetic Baha Attract System

British personal fitness instructor Layla Osselton, 37, had normal hearing until she was eight years old, when she began to suffer from chronic, regular ear infections which caused permanent damage to her hearing. Because of her blocked and swollen ear canals, she was unable to use traditional hearing aids.

Earlier this year she was fitted with the Baha Attract System at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

“I never thought it would be possible that I could hear some of the sounds that I have,” says Layla. “It is amazing, as I can hear things like birds in the street or the fizz of opening a bottle of sparkling water. I feel like I am fully engaged in the world now and I’m realising what a noisy place it is!”

The magnetic bone conduction system is ideal for her active lifestyle since daily care is minimal as there is no abutment penetrating the skin.

Ian Johnson, consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon and director of Newcastle Baha Centre, says:

“Bone conduction hearing systems allow us to help patients who cannot be treated with traditional hearing aids. By using a small implant, we simply bypass problem areas and that means we can restore hearing that’s seriously deteriorated, or give someone the joy of being able to hear for the first time.”

Layla claims her life has been ‘transformed’ by the device, as she has regained not only her hearing but also her self-confidence.

Layla Osselton with her new Baha Attract System

Read more about the Baha Attract System


Bone conduction implants are an untapped resource

Ian Johnson, ENT Surgeon, UK

Ian Johnson, ENT Surgeon, UK

Mr Ian Johnson, ENT surgeon at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle Upon Tyne, recently wrote an article about Baha for the 2014 Ears, Nose and Throat Campaign in the UK.

He called bone conduction implants an ‘under-utilised technology’:

“It’s probably the most under-utilised means of hearing restoration. There are 10,000 new cases of single-sided hearing loss in the UK every year, but only 1,500 are fitted [with Baha] each year. It’s being ignored because of a lack of awareness.”

Read the whole article here.