Is the BP110 Power right for me?

The BP110 Power Baha Sound Processor

Question: So confused! I’ve been single-sided deaf all my life, for 42 years. My ENT recommended a Baha solution and now I can hear more than ever. My demo device is labeled BP110 Power. Is that 4 or 5? My research shows it’s 3. Is that right, if so why? I feel like, I can’t get answers. Maybe I don’t what questions to ask. So confused, scared and excited.
//Thanks Milissa

Answer: Dear Milissa.

It’s great to hear that the Baha BP110 Power allows you to hear more than ever before.

Our sound processors come in different levels of power. You are completely right that the BP110 Power is a generation 3 device. It is currently the most powerful device in our portfolio.

We also offer the Baha 5 Sound Processor (generation 5). It is significantly smaller than any comparable device today and also offers other advantages like wireless connectivity and direct streaming to iOS devices. Please be aware that this device isn’t as powerful as the BP110 Power.

In the near future, we will expand generation 5 with new and more powerful sound processors. Unfortunately, as a publically listed company, we are not able to disclose any specific information related to the commercial availability or scope of future products.

Your hearing healthcare specialist will be able to recommend what hearing solution is best for you based on your specific hearing loss.

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

When is a Baha System right for me?

We often get the question “When would a bone conduction hearing system be right for me?”.

There is of course not one answer, but the most common reason is that a Baha solution will be beneficial to you when hearing aids in or behind the ear no longer work. For instance, for a child born without external ears there’s the possibility to transfer sound via the skull bone instead of the ear canals. Likewise, if you suffer from chronic ear infections that mean you can’t use hearing aids, a solution like a Baha System that keeps your ear canals open may be the recommended solution.

We usually talk about three types of hearing loss where a Baha System could be the right solution for you:

Conductive hearing loss

Problems in the outer and/or middle ear can block or restrict the flow of sound waves, preventing them from getting through effectively to the inner ear. You may be able to understand what’s being said, but only if people speak loud enough and there isn’t too much background noise. Hearing aids may help, but sometimes not enough.

Conductive hearing loss can be caused by (among other things):

  • Ear infection or fluid in the middle ear (otitis media)
  • Otosclerosis – fusing of bones in the middle ear
  • A benign tumour or cholesteatoma, causing damage to the middle ear

Read more: A tumor stole John’s hearing, but the Baha solution opened up a new world of sound

baha-blog-John-Kastanis

Single-sided deafness (SSD)

This is the loss of all, or almost all, hearing in one ear. You may have difficulty in locating sounds or hearing against background noise. SSD is usually caused by sensorineural hearing loss, when the inner ear – or less often, the hearing nerve – isn’t working correctly.

SSD can be caused by:

  • Exposure to very loud noise
  • Acoustic neuroma (a benign tumor on the hearing nerve)
  • Certain drugs or medications

Read more: Actor Mark Ruffalo lost all his hearing in his left ear due to acoustic neuroma

Mixed hearing loss

A mixed loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. This means that there may be damage in the outer or middle ear, and also in the inner ear or hearing nerve.

conductive-sensorineural-hearing-loss

If you or your child has one of the types of hearing loss described above, then a Baha bone conduction implant may be a good solution. A health professional can talk you through the options and help you make the most informed decision. If you don’t already have someone to speak to, use this tool to find a clinic close to you. When considering what to do, the most important thing is to have all the information.

Video: With a Baha sound processor, Meryl can hear from both sides again

Meryl-Baha-hearingloss

In this video, Baha user Meryl from the US describes growing up and spending her whole life just hearing from one side.

“One thing about single-sided deafness is that a lot of people say ‘Oh well, you have another ear that’s really good, so what’s the big deal if you don’t have the two ears? Well, the big deal is directional sound. It’s kind of like when the Wizard of Oz is black and white and then, all of a sudden, it goes to colour. That’s what it felt like to get my Baha. It’s like everything came back to life. It was crisp and clear and just an amazing explosion of sound.”

Watch Meryl’s story below:

Are you or a loved one considering a bone conduction implant system? Use this tool to find a hearing care professional that can explain more about the Baha System in your area!

Randi was deaf in one ear for ten years – before she got her bone conduction implant

Randi, an American 37-year old woman, was deaf in one ear for ten years before she got her bone conduction implant. It wasn’t until she read an article about another Baha user that she started researching the Baha solution herself and contacted her hearing care professional. When Randi was fitted with her sound processor she couldn’t believe how simple it was. That this little processor could bring back the sounds she’d lost ten years ago.

Randi says that the novelty of hearing from both sides still hasn’t worn off:

“Every day is a new day. I’m hearing so many different things that you just take for granted. I can hear all those sounds I did 10 years ago. I can hear the ocean. I can hear the rain.”

She concludes:

“I can’t believe I didn’t know for so long. You shouldn’t have to wait ten years.”

Don’t waste any time if you become hearing impaired or suspect that you are losing your hearing! There are so many ways to get help – if you just identify the early signs. Get help now!

Find a clinic here. Connect with your local Cochlear office in social media here.

 

Guest blog: Dr Jolien Desmet’s journey of discovery of sensorineural single-sided deafness

Dr Jolien Desmet from UZA Hospital in Antwerp, Belgium, shares with us her experience as a clinical audiologist who was inspired by the interactions with her patients to go further. She was recently awarded a PhD which focused on bone conduction hearing.

“I am lucky to have a position where I can be both a clinical and research audiologist. Importantly, the Baha solution has been my research focus for the last four and a half years.

I am continually impressed and humbled by the degree of benefit provided by the Baha solution for people with conductive or mixed hearing loss, or single-sided sensorineural deafness (SSD). Especially when meeting patients with a large hearing loss, that are so enthusiastic about the life changing impact of the Baha solution!

One patient I remember well was a taxi driver, profoundly deaf on his right side. Being a taxi driver in Belgium, with the steering wheel on the left, he was a perfect SSD Baha candidate. After he got his Baha sound processor, he could hear the conversations and directions of his passengers on his right side much more clearly. He reported so much benefit from this!

The focus of my research is to go beyond the standard hearing tests and highlight the quality of life improvement shown by patients in their everyday life. I wish to highlight new ways in which we can more understand the improvements reported by patients with SSD.

Over the past four years, under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Paul Van de Heyning at the Antwerp University Hospital, I have personally investigated* the performance of hundreds of Baha candidates. I have also spoken to different researchers who are looking for an explanation for the reported benefit.

For SSD patients, you often need to look beyond the standard hearing tests, as it is the benefit in quality of life that is most crucial. We need to discuss and be open to what actual situation benefits a Baha solution provides for the candidate. What situations are they in where they need to hear from the other side? When are they in situations where their daily life is compromised by having access to sound from only one side? For example, work meetings or communicating in situations with lots of background noise. These are issues that we, as professionals, must take into account when seeing a SSD patient in the context of a Baha trial.

In addition to the SSD research, I am focusing on new technologies such as Baha Attract and also the wireless technologies … I believe that these may provide further improvements for patients with SSD. But maybe I should save that for a next blog post!”

~ Dr Jolien Desmet

 

* Desmet J, Bouzegta R, Hofkens A et al. Clinical need for a Baha trial in patients with single-sided sensorineural deafness. Analysis of a Baha database of 196 patients. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2012;269:799-805.

Deaf in one ear

Single-sided sensorineural deafness is a medical condition where you have normal hearing in one ear and impaired hearing in the other.

Arnold, Baha user

Arnold, Baha user

Some are born with it, but single-sided deafness can also be acquired by illnesses and other medical conditions; by exposure to loud noises; by trauma or by other, unknown factors.

A person who is deaf on one side may have difficulty understanding speech over background noise and localising the direction of footsteps, traffic or a ringing telephone. The condition can also indirectly cause stress, exhaustion and headaches from the extra efforts required to listen. Social isolation can also be an unwelcome result.

Musician and music lover Arnold from Switzerland, describes how his sudden overnight deafness in 2002 turned his social life into loneliness, until he after three years was able to restore his hearing with the Baha System:

“Communication was hard, sitting around a table trying to talk to people… The social contacts have improved so much!”

Read more about how the Baha System can help here