Bone Anchored Hearing Aids

Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA)
Compiled by Bettie Antrim

A bone anchored hearing aid is implanted behind the ear instead of in the ear, like the cochlear implants. It is a great idea for hearing impaired people who can’t wear hearing aids. Dr. Chang, the head of Head and Neck Surgery at University of Texas Medical School at Houston states, “The bone-anchored hearing aid is a very good option for some patients with severe conductive and mixed hearing impairments. If you are born without an ear canal, you can’t hear much at all, but the inner ear is usually intact. Also, patients with chronic ear infections can’t put a traditional hearing aid in their ear. This system allows us to work around that.”

The aid is implanted behind the ear and sounds are conducted in through the bone, not the middle ear, as it does with hearing people. Vibrations are transmitted through the skull and inner ear and stimulate the nerve fibers in the inner ear. Children as young as 6 can wear the aid.

One drawback is that a small piece of metal that is sticking out of the skull and needs be kept clean.