If your hearing loss is substantial or complex, hearing aids might not be a viable solution. One option to consider is the Baha® bone conduction implant from Cochlear, the pioneer of the first commercially available cochlear implant.
What Is a Bone Conduction Implant?
A bone conduction implant, like the Baha® System from Cochlear, is for those with hearing loss caused by damage to the outer or middle ear. In these cases, the cochlea in your inner ear still functions as it should — it’s just not receiving the sound input it needs. That’s where bone conduction comes in.
A bone conduction implant is different from a hearing aid. A hearing aid processes and amplifies sound vibrations so they can be picked up by the hair cells in your cochlea. In other words, hearing aids use air conduction to stimulate your hair cells. These cells create impulses for the hearing nerves to send to the brain, which interprets the impulses. The more damaged your hair cells, the more processing and amplification is required to successfully hear with a hearing aid.
A bone conduction implant sends vibrations as well, but it sends vibrations to the hair cells in your cochlea using bone’s natural ability to conduct sound. In other words, these implants use bone conduction to stimulate your hair cells. You use bone conduction all the time to hear — you identify your own normal tone of voice largely through bone conduction.
Bone conduction implant
A bone conduction implant uses components that work together to completely bypass the damaged portions of your outer or middle ear to directly stimulate your fully functioning cochlea. Specifically, an external processor secured to your scalp picks up sound and creates digital information, which is transmitted to an implant secured in the bone behind your ear. The implant transmits vibrations using bone, past your damaged outer or middle ear, and directly to the healthy inner ear, where the hair cells receive the vibrations and the hearing nerve can transmit impulses to the brain.
Who Can Get a Bone Conduction Implant?
Bone conduction implants are for those who are deaf in one ear, have damage to the outer or middle ear (known as conductive hearing loss), or have both conductive hearing loss and damage to the inner ear. Adults and children can safely and successfully benefit from these implants.
How Do I Know if I’m a Good Candidate for Bone Conduction Implants?
An audiologist at our Central Brooklyn location can perform an extensive auditory evaluation to determine whether you’re a good candidate. If so, they’ll work in conjunction with an otologist from SUNY Downstate Medical Center to determine if you meet certain physical and balance requirements.
Once the procedure is over, our audiologist partners with you through the placement of the technology and all the follow-ups and adjustments. A bone conduction implant isn’t just a procedure — it’s a relationship between you and your audiologist. They’ll be on the journey with you, testing and adjusting your technology and encouraging you as you gain new successes in your hearing.