BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aid)
BAHA attached to skull
The BAHA is for two groups of patients: those with permanent conductive hearing loss (who cannot benefit from traditional hearing aids), and those with "Single Sided Deafness" (one ear profoundly deaf, the other ear normal hearing). The BAHA has two major parts: a small titanium screw and abutment that is surgically implanted into the skull, and an external sound processor that attaches to the titanium abutment. The sound processor (small and rectangular in shape) changes sounds into vibrations. These vibrations are transmitted immediately through the titanium screw, throughout the skull, and to the cochlea in both ears. Vibrations from the processor instantaneously move fluid inside the cochlea for both ears, which causes tiny hair cells in the cochleas to move and transmit electrical signals to the brain.
BAHA titanium stem (left), processor (right)
To qualify for a BAHA, patients at our clinic must first visit with Dr. Slater and make sure they meet all medical criteria. Next, patients work with one of our audiologists to go through testing in a sound booth. This testing involves wearing a demo BAHA, and listening to sounds and speech. Test results are used to show possible benefit from a BAHA. We also need test results to send to private insurance companies (in order to get pre-authorization for the BAHA surgery and equipment).