BAHA stands for bone-anchored hearing aid. These devices are for those suffering from profound hearing loss. Different from a hearing aid, BAHA works through bone conduction to deliver sound to your inner ear, allowing people to hear.
Alpine Ear, Nose & Throat offers two convenient locations to serve you in Fort Collins and Loveland. We offer a wide range of products and services to help you and your family with high quality ear, nose and throat care. Below, we’ll go over what a BAHA is and how it can help you hear. Call us today to schedule a consultation!
WHAT IS BAHA?
BAHA stands for bone-anchored hearing device. Like the name states, a BAHA is a hearing device that can help those with severe hearing loss hear. The BAHA delivers sound vibrations to the inner ear through bone conduction, helping you to hear better. But what exactly does that mean?
How You Hear Sound
A normal ear has four parts to hearing:
- Outer ear. The outer ear is the part of the ear you see with our ear lobe. The purpose of the outer ear is to capture sound vibrations and funnel them to through the ear canal to the eardrum.
- Middle ear. Once the waves hit the eardrum, it vibrates, transferring the sound to the bones in the middle ear, which causes them to vibrate.
- Inner ear. Here, these vibrations are converted to electrical impulses by the hair on the inner ear, or your cochlea.
- Hearing nerve. The hearing nerve sends the impulses to the brain, which then gives the sounds meaning and are heard.
The inability to hear is when one of these steps doesn’t work. Hearing loss is when some part of your ear is damaged.
There are different types of hearing loss:
- Conductive Hearing Loss. This type of hearing loss is where sound is prevented from traveling through the outer or middle ear. This could be caused by chronic ear infections, drainage problems, or something else.
- Single-Sided Deafness. This type of hearing loss is known as sensorineural hearing loss where the inner ear is damaged. This is where at least one ear has lost all hearing and the other ear is either functioning normally, or has some degree of hearing loss. This type of hearing loss makes it hard to know where sound is coming from and makes it hard to understand people when there’s a lot of external noise.
- Mixed Hearing Loss. This type of hearing loss means that there is both sensorineural hearing loss and conductive hearing loss present, either in one ear or both.
- Malformations of the Outer or Inner Ear. This type of hearing loss is often the type that is present at birth. It is typified by a narrowing of the ear canal or some sort of malformation, which causes conductive hearing loss.
HOW DOES BAHA WORK?
BAHA bypasses your damaged outer or middle ear through bone conduction, which is your ability to conduct sound through bone vibrations. The result is a cleaner, crisper sound. This is the only device that works through direct bone conduction, and it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use.
The BAHA uses a small connector across the skin and an implant that is bonded to the underlying bone. There are three parts to this system: the titanium fixture, the abutment, and the external sound processor.
The titanium fixture is implanted behind your ear that is not functioning properly. This is a simple outpatient procedure. This piece transfers the sound to the functioning cochlea through bone conduction.
How Can BAHA Help Your Hearing Loss?
BAHA is recommended for children or adults who:
- Have severe outer or middle ear malformations
- Chronic draining ears due to ear infections
- Middle ear disease
- Acoustic neuroma
- Meniere’s disease
- Have at least one inner ear that functions normally
Ultimately, a consultation with your audiologist is the best way to determine if you are a good candidate for BAHA.
CHOOSE ALPINE EAR, NOSE & THROAT FOR YOUR HEARING LOSS SOLUTIONS
Hearing is such an important part of life and communication. The audiologists here at Alpine Ear, Nose & Throat in Fort Collins strive to be able to help you hear as much of this world as possible, including through BAHA, hearing aids, and other types of hearing devices and/or techniques. When you make an appointment with one of our audiologists, we’ll work diligently to diagnose, identify, treat, and then monitor your hearing. We can give you expert advice on what we think is the best treatment option for you.
Alpine Ear, Nose & Throat aims to provide you and your family with comprehensive ear, nose, and throat care throughout all of life’s stages. Whether you suffer from vertigo, dizziness, some type of hearing loss, have troubles swallowing, or more, we can help. Call today to schedule an appointment to be on your way to better health and wellness!