Wearing the Baha Attract System with long hair

QuestionMy daughter is 15 and has hearing loss in one ear. She also has long hair which she likes to wear both up and down. Being a teenager, one of the things she’s really concerned about is whether she has to have any of her hair shaved off to have the Baha 5 Attract System, both for fitting and then for everyday wearing. I’ve been unable to find anything online to answer her questions. It would really help to see a video of someone with long hair wearing the Attract System and taking it on and off. Can you help or point me in the right direction?

Many thanks! // Janet

Answer: Hi Janet, thanks for your question.

Your daughter would need to shave a small area of her hair for the surgery. But in most cases it grows back with no problem.

In these videos of Jon and Cindy, you can see them putting on their magnets and sound processors. And here are a few other photos which illustrate what it looks like with the sound processor on and off:

destiny-baha-attract-magnetdestiny-baha-attract-without-magnet

Here’s Destiny with her hair grown back after surgery.

Jo-Baha-Attract-userJo-Baha-Attract-System

Jo from Australia chose the Baha Attract System because it was “so easy”.

baha-attract-how-does-it-lookjpg

Brian’s thick hair almost completely camouflages his magnet and sound processor.

Please consult your health care professional who can recommend the right hearing solution for your daughter!

//The Baha Blog team

In the news: teenager can hear again with the Baha Attract System

magnetic-hearing-aid-baha

Gage Hoskins, 15, is the first patient in Abilene, Texas, USA to receive a Baha Attract System.

The tiny hearing device is surgically implanted behind the ear and uses magnets to connect a sound processor to the implant.

baha-attract-surgery

“Bone-anchored hearing aids are much crisper and much clearer,” said Dr. Jason Acevedo, of Abilene Regional Medical Center. “They’re very advanced technology. They have Bluetooth and they connect to your phone and you can listen to an iPod or talk on the phone right through the implant. It’s a specific technology that conducts sound through the bone for folks that have mechanism hearing loss.”

Gage says: “Before I got this, it sounded like everyone was kind of wearing a mask or something. Now I can hear so much clearer.”

baha-attract-size-tiny

Watch the video and read the entire article here.

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

Baha-hearing-aids-england

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

What shampoo can I use after Baha surgery?

baha-shampoo-shower

Question: Hello, I’m having my Baha surgery on Monday and was just wondering how soon after I can wash my hair, and if there is any special shampoo that you recommend? Thanks! //Kelly

Answer: Hi Kelly,

Thanks for your question. According to Dr Pete Weber, you can shower the day after the surgery, just don’t rub the area but gently press it. He recommends a hypoallergenic shampoo, such as baby shampoos.

Once the dressing is removed, you should carefully wash your hair and use an alcohol-free abutment cleaning wipe to keep the skin clean for daily maintenance.

Always consult with your health care professional on what steps you should take after the procedure.

Best of luck!

~ Jay Patterson, Product Manager, Implant & Surgery, Baha & Vistafix

 

Camryn, 9, is the first person in South Africa to get the Baha Attract System

camryn-baha-attract-magnet-system

Nine-year-old Camryn, Cape Town, South Africa, will be the country’s very first recipient of the Baha Attract System!

The surgery was done in early March 2015, and the little girl is now waiting to get her bilateral Baha 4 Sound Processors fitted. The technique creates an invisible connection between the magnets embedded close to where her ears would have been and equally magnetised sound processors.

At birth, Camryn was diagnosed with Goldenhar syndrome – a rare congenital condition characterised by the incomplete development of the ear – and was certified as “profoundly deaf”.

Camryn’s family was referred to ear, nose and throat specialist Dr Nathanie Naudè, who’d been in talks with Australian otolaryngologist Professor Robert Briggs about the new bilateral Baha technique. Briggs travelled to Cape Town to perform Camryn’s surgery, which was observed by more than 20 ENT specialists from across the country.

“It will be the first time that Camryn will be able to hear surround sound,” said Surida Booysen, audiologist at Tygerberg Hospital’s Carel du Toit Centre for children with hearing impediments, which Camryn attends. “To give this to a child is absolutely amazing.”

Read the whole story here.

 

You asked… we answer: Going from the Baha Attract to the Baha Connect System?

Question: At age 62 I had a bacterial ear infection that left me totally deaf in that ear. The other ear has normal hearing for my age.

I had a Baha Attract System inserted. I never use it because it does not seem to help my hearing. My lifestyle involves either being alone, with one other person, or in places where there is a lot of background noise, e.g., restaurants. The Baha doesn’t work in the latter case, and doesn’t seem to make a difference with just one person or the TV or stereo. I am retired and do not go to meetings or classes where there are many people but only one person talking at any one time, where I think the Baha might work the best.

My doctor thinks I should not just give it up, and he suggested taking out the magnet and installing a post. His rationale is that the sound would conduct more directly to the bone, and thus enhance hearing.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has had both types of systems to hear what differences they heard before I commit to having surgery again.

Thanks much. // Nan

Answer:

Dear Nan,

Thank you for your mail, and comments on the system. It is often challenging to experience the benefit in all situations when you have one normal hearing ear. In this case, the benefits you will receive relate to improving the access to sounds from the deaf side. These sounds are in what we call the “head shadow” where the head actually affects the sounds waves of important higher pitch sounds, making them less clear and softer. This makes it difficult to hear and be aware of sounds from the poorer side and usually becomes worse in difficult noisy listening situations.

Your Baha System will transfer the sounds via bone conduction from the deaf side to the normally hearing ear. You should experience that you no longer will need to worry about what side people are seated, and you should be more aware of sounds from the deaf side. Most people report improved 360 degree sound awareness and audibility, but unfortunately true localisation will requires two hearing ears. This may take some time to adapt to and your hearing care professionals can help you through.

Additionally, bone conduction systems come with a range of accessories that can be used to connect directly to telephones and televisions to that you receive the signal directly through your sound processor. Additionally, in challenging listening situations you may wish to use a remote microphone (FM or mini microphone) so that you can receive the words of your communication partner directly with less annoyance of background noise and a cleaner signal. I certainly would suggest that you give these accessories a go.

In terms of performance, there are a number of tests that your hearing care professional can perform in terms of listening in noise and how the head shadow is being lifted by your sound processor. These tests will objectively measure the degree benefit, and from this you can discuss if you need a stronger sound processor or direct connection through an abutment. A direct connection will provide a slightly stronger signal through to the bone, however, it is best to discuss all options and test the degree of benefit before suggesting a second surgery.

Hope this helps!

~ Mark C. Flynn, PhD Audiologist, Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions

Five year-old boy without ear can hear again with the magnetic Baha Attract System

Sixten-Baha-Attract-children

Sixten was born in Sweden as the second of three boys. What set Sixten apart from his brothers was that he was born without external ear and ear canal on his right side, a condition known as atresia/microtia. As a result, he had a hearing loss that could not be helped with regular behind-the-ear hearing aids.

His parents, Susanne and Jonny, first heard about the Baha System from their hearing care professional when Sixten was about one year old.

“Our doctor told us there was a hearing device suitable for Sixten and wondered if we wanted to test it,” recalls Jonny. “Not that long ago apparently, it was thought that hearing in one ear was enough. But now research has advanced and now we know that unilateral hearing loss is a bigger handicap than previously thought.”

In Jonny’s and Susanne’s mind, communication itself is primary, how it is done doesn’t matter as much. If there was a way to help Sixten hear and to communicate – they wanted to do it.

Baha-Softband-child

Used Baha Softband before surgery

Sixten began to wear a Baha sound processor on a Baha Softband from when he was one and a half.

“We are as sure as can be that Sixten is helped by the Baha device,” says Susanne. “We clearly noticed a difference in Sixten’s mood – he perked up and was more attentive when he had the Baha Softband on.”

By the spring of 2013, Sixten’s parents were convinced he was hearing well with his device and decided to take the next step and get an implant. The surgery went well, but a few months later Sixten dislocated his abutment after falling down from a table. When they went in to see their doctor about it, he recommended switching to the magnetic Baha Attract System.

Susanne and Jonny thought it sounded perfect for their son. So in the summer of 2014, Sixten got his new Baha Attract System.

“In the very beginning, we decided to try the Baha Softband because it was easy – no surgery,” says Susanne. “When we felt sure that he was being helped by the Softband we decided on the abutment. After he had his little accident and we heard about the Baha Attract, it was an obvious choice. Nothing is protruding through the skin and the sound processor stays put. If it had been available when Sixten was younger, we definitely would have gone with it.”

Baha-Attract-System-children

Doesn’t fall off

During our four hour visit with Sixten and his family, the little guy is not still for a second. He hangs upside down, gets thrown up in the air by his dad, runs around and wrestles with his older brother – and the sound processor stays in place. When it does get knocked off – after some especially boisterous wrestling – it’s caught by his safety line and Sixten just pops it back on.

Baha-Attract-magnet-doesnt-fall-off“We’re just so relieved that he is so confident with it, and that he’s able to play just like other children,” says Sixten’s father.

According to Sixten’s parents, while both the Connect and Attract systems provide significant hearing benefits, the biggest advantages of the Baha Attract, compared to the Softband and the abutment, are how it looks and that it’s care free.

“It’s nice not to need the daily care,” says Susanne. “The skin is intact and he has no problems with infections.”

Can’t hear without it

Sixten is clearly fond of his Baha sound processor and doesn’t want to be without it for longer periods of time. As soon as he doesn’t have it on, his parents and teachers notice that he starts getting agitated, even a bit difficult, and tired from concentrating to hear.

“Previously he could be without it for maybe a day,” says Susanne. “But now he wants to have it on all the time. He says he can’t hear without it. If it falls off he instantly fixes it himself. He always has the safety line on so it won’t drop on the floor.”

Baha-Attract-magnet-children“Here – try it on!” Sixten’s older brother listens through the magnet and sound processor while blocking his ears, to get an idea of how bone conduction works.

Magic Mini Mic

The family also enjoy the benefits of the wireless accessories, particularly the Cochlear Wireless Mini Microphone.

“The first time we tried the Mini Mic, we were outside and I had it clipped to my collar and Sixten could hear me even though he was far away, and he just cried ‘Mom, it’s magic!’”, smiles Susanne. “He uses it also to watch TV.”

“And Sixten – what do you think about your Baha sound processor?”

“It’s great because I can hear! It’s good to have a hearing device.”

“Is there anything you’d like to have?”

“Yes! Battery doors with T-Rex on them!” exclaims Sixten with a big grin.

child-with-baha-attract-magnet-sound-processorchildren-with-bahachildren-baha-attract-system