Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA)
What Is a Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid?
Traditional hearing aids are often likened to mini-speakers amplifying sound into the ear so you can hear and understand speech better. For some people, simply “turning up” the sound in the ear won’t work because they have conductive hearing loss or other issues that interfere with the way the ear hears. Bone-anchored hearing aids skip past the ear canal and middle ear and use bone conduction to transmit sounds directly to the inner ear.
How Does a Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid Work?
Bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA) capture the sounds in an external component that looks like a regular hearing aid and transmit it to the skull through a surgically placed component. The sound vibrations then travel down the bone to the inner ear through conduction. At that point, the cochlea works the way it would on a normal healthy ear–it converts the vibrations into electrical impulses your brain registers as sounds.
Who might benefit from a BAHA?
BAHAs are generally used for people with conductive hearing loss. Because BAHAs transmit sound right to the cochlea they can be used for people who have issues with the middle ear or who have difficulty wearing traditional hearing aids. They are also often used for people with single-sided hearing loss, chronic ear disease, or people who have malformed ear structures.