Ear Center: BAHA Hearing Implant
The BAHA osseointegrated hearing implant has been successfully used to treat over 35,000 patients worldwide and consists of a 3-4 mm. titanium implant (or optional 8.5 or 9.0 mm implants) with an attached abutment that is surgically implanted in the skull bone behind the ear. An external digital sound processor containing directional microphones and a battery supply is then "snap coupled" to the abutment. The surgical procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes approximately one hour. The fixture is permitted to heal into the bone for 6 weeks before the external sound processor is attached. The BAHA implant requires minimal skin care, does not occlude the ear canal, and provides hearing to both inner ears by completely bypassing the outer ear, ear canal, and middle ear.
We receive sound in two ways, by air conduction via the ear canal, eardrum, and ossicles, and by bone conduction where the sound is transmitted directly through the jaw and skull bone bypassing the outer ear and the middle ear.
In most cases, hearing impaired patients will be fitted with air conduction devices. These are placed inside the ear canal or behind the ear. However, some hearing impaired patients are unable to benefit from this type of conventional hearing aid. They may have a congenital condition, such as never developing an ear canal (atresia) so there is no functional ear canal present in which to place a hearing aid. They may have chronic ear infection in the middle ear or the outer ear that is made worse when a hearing aid mold is placed in the ear canal causing occlusion.
Another hearing loss condition is "Single Sided Deafness" (SSD) which may be due to previous surgery, trauma, ear disease, sudden hearing loss, etc. which leaves the individual with no hearing in one ear. Traditionally, patients with SSD were offered either traditional bone conduction devices which were large, cumbersome, and required the wearing of a steel spring headband or a CROS hearing aid system (contralateral routing of signal). CROS devices required wearing a microphone on the dead ear connected by wired or wireless connection a second hearing aid in the opposite ear. Most patients rejected both types of devices
The BAHA system is recommend for adults and children older than 5 years of age. Its specific indications include:
- conductive hearing loss, in one or both ears, with average bone thresholds better than 45 dB
- congenital absence of the ear canal(s) (congenital atresia)
- single sided deafness in which one ear is completely without hearing and the other ear hears normally
The BAHA hearing implant works through a different approach to bone conduction. Whereas traditional bone-conductors are transcutaneous and work by exerting pressure against the skull, the BAHA system works percutaneously. A small titanium implant is implanted in the skull behind the ear where it osseointegrates with the living bone. A percutaneous abutment is attached the implant, and a sound processor is snap-coupled to the abutment. The sound processor can be worn or taken off at any time. The BAHA sound processor is comfortable and discreet. (Reference taken from - BAHA-Hear the Difference brochure, p.4).
- BAHA 3
- BP-100 - BAHA sound processor, introduced in 2009, programmable
- BP-110 Power - BAHA sound processor, introduced in 2011, programmable
- Intenso - slightly larger processor for more severe hearing losses, not programmable
- Divino* - second generation of original sound processor (discontinued for sale effective September 1, 2009)
- *Service and repair for the Divino will continue until the product obsolescence date, June 30, 2012. For questions related to the Divino, you may contact Cochlear Americas Customer Service at 877-883-3101.
The BP-100 was introduced in August 2009 and is the industry's first programmable bone conduction hearing implant.
Features of the BP-100 include:
- Clarity of Sound
- 12 Channel sound analysis
- Automatic multi-band directional microphones
- Advanced noise reduction & feedback management systems
- Brilliance in Design
- GORE-Tex® covers to protect the microphone
- 3-button interface for volume & programming changes
- Key lock function to keep kids safe from dislodged batteries
- Tamper-proof battery doors (optional)
- Simplicity in Use
- Three distinct fitting options
- NOAH-compatible Cochlear Fitting Software
- Automatic features for seamless listening in changing environments
- Universal Europin connector for a variety of accessories like FM systems
- LEDs permit parents & caregivers to know whether the processor is on and if the battery is good
Click to learn more about the BAHA BP-100 at: www.cochlearamericas.com/professionals/bp100
The BP-110 Power sound processor was introduced in 2011, is programmable, and has more power than the BP-100.
Features of the BP-110 Power include:
- The Most Powerful Head-worn Baha
- Thinnest Programmable Power Baha
- Better Fittings Made Easier
- Designed for performance
- The first power sound processor with directional microphones
- Most powerful transducer
- Better sound quality
The Cochlear Baha 3 System* set the standard for advanced bone conduction hearing solutions. The new Cochlear Baha 3 BP-110 Power Sound Processor with the most powerful Baha transducer, provides more amplification where many patients need it the most - in the high frequencies. Baha 3 BP-110 Power is designed to give patients better speech understanding and superior sound quality, compared with previous generations of processors.
The digital Intenso is the most powerful head worn BAHA sound processor. The Intenso contains a stronger transducer (vibrator) with active, multi-band feedback cancellation that allows for increased amplification for patients with significant hearing losses. The Intenso is more comparable to the Cordelle body worn processor in terms of available gain characteristics. The Intenso is available in black, blonde, silver-grey, and brown. Other features include:
- tone control
- gain control,
- three program settings (setting 1 for normal listening situations, setting 2 for noisy environments, and Program E for muting when using accessories),
- automatic gain control to limit distortion in noise,
- electrical input to connect accessories such as an audio adapter, telecoil unit, a Phonak MicroLink Baha FM-receiver,
- information beeps to identify program mode and low battery status.
- (Reference from the BAHA Intenso Data Sheet, March 2007
The BAHA Cordelle II is the second generation of body worn BAHA sound processors. The Cordelle II is ideal for patients who require significant energy for substantial hearing losses.
Features of the BAHA Cordelle II include:
- Body-worn Super Power
- Designed for more substantial hearing losses
- The body-worn Baha Cordelle II is the strongest member of the Baha family
You will hear more than ever, with less feedback and distortion than conventional hearing aids. The Baha Cordelle II is the most powerful Baha sound processor offered by Cochlear, consisting of an ear-level transducer and a body-worn unit. This model has a built in telecoil, which allows wearers to utilize teleloop facilities or as a telephone pick-up to help enhance sound quality.
The BAHA 210 Abutment was designed with a concave profile to help prevent skin from overgrowing the abutment.
Cochlear Baha 3 BI300 Implant
- Wider diameter
- Small sized threads below flange
- TiOblast™ surface (promotes integration with bone)
- New conical shape
- Market leader and innovator
- Tri-lobe connection
- Helium-tight seal
- Precise countersinking
- Single-use instrument kit
- Improved packaging
- Fewer tools and steps
Feedback is annoying for all patients who wear hearing devices. With the BAHA system, feedback is either mechanical (400-1000 Hz range) or acoustic (1500-3000 Hz range). One way to reduce potential feedback is to reduce gain or apply a notch filter. These solutions lead to a loss of power (gain), audibility, and decreased hearing. The Intenso uses phase cancellation technology to automatically, and effectively, cancel the feedback with an out-of-phase sound signal of the matched frequency, amplitude, and phase.
Indications for the BAHA Intenso include conductive or mixed hearing losses for patients whose bone conduction thresholds are within the 0 - 45 dB range across the speech frequencies and for patients who have Single Sided Deafness (SSD).
Intenso accessories that are available include:
- an audio adapter for direct input from stereos, TV's, MP3's, and other Hi-Fi equipment,
- a Phonak MicroLink Baha FM-receiver
- a telecoil unit to access loop facilities in phones, homes, theaters, seminar halls, etc.
The BAHA Intenso Sound Processor is slightly larger than the BAHA Divino Sound Processor.
Located on inside surface, the surface closer to the head, are the the snap connector, tone and gain controls, a battery compartment, and an attachment point for an optional safety line. The Intenso weighs 14 grams, including a 675 battery.
Cochlear Americas is now manufacturing the BAHA DermaLock implants with abutments (model BIA400) and the BAHA DermaLock abutments (model BA400). The new abutments are made of titanium and are coated with a 80um thick coating of hydroyapatite (Ca5(PO4)3(OH). The surface roughness (Ra) is approximately 7um. The implants are available in 3 mm and 4 mm models (B1300). Abutment length is determined according to scalp tissue thickness. The hydroxyapatite coating has been developed to improve tissue integration with the implant.
More and more third party insurance companies are covering the BAHA system. In North Carolina, the BAHA system is covered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield (except for single sided deafness), the North Carolina State Employees Health Plan, and several other companies. Medicare began covering the BAHA system in January of 2006. Please contact your insurance company to inquire as to whether they cover the BAHA system or contact our office for guidance.
As of June 30, 2011, Cochlear Corporation no longer supports the BAHA Classic or Compact.
For Classic recipients:
- Before April 1, 2010, repair of the Classic will cost $445, or
- The patient may purchase a new BAHA BP100 Sound Processor
For Compact recipients:
- Before July 1, 2011, repairs of the Compact will cost $445, or
- The patient may purchase a new BAHA BP100 Sound Processor
For more information about the BAHA system, go to: www.cochlearamericas.com
If you or one of your loved ones is interested in learning more about:
- the BAHA Hearing Implant and Sound Processors,
- BAHA candidacy,
- the BAHA operative procedure,
- BAHA fitting, or
- BAHA warranty information
Please contact our office at (336) 273-9932 and ask to speak to one of our Audiologists.
Depending on your insurance coverage, your BAHA upgrade may or may not be covered as a "replacement sound processor."
At this time, The Ear Center is unable to order an upgraded BAHA sound processor for BAHA users. It will be necessary for you to contact Cochlear Americas at 1-800-633-4667, option 2 or at email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- Wazen JJ, Gupta R, Ghossaini S, Spitzer J, Farrugia M, Tjellstrom A. Osseointegration timing for Baha System Loading. Laryngoscope, 117, 794-796, 2007.
- Linstrom CJ, Silverman CA, Yu GP. Efficacy of the bone-anchored hearing aid for single-sided deafness. Laryngoscope, 119, 2009, 713-720.
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- Zeitler DM, Snapp HA, et.al. Early loading after single-stage bone-anchored implantation in adults. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2011;144 (March):402-407.
- Monksfield P, Jowett S, et al. Cost effectiveness analysis of the bone-anchored hearing device. Otol Neurotol 2011;32 (October):1192-1197.
Page last updated November 24, 2013