Hearing aids are often the first consideration for patients with hearing disabilities. These aids can be similarly considered like glasses for visual problems. They do not require surgery and the advanced technology is relatively inexpensive. Patients can used them when they want and remove them as necessary.
There are many different types of Hearing aids available. They vary in size, quality, performance and therefore, price. Hearing aids should always be tailored to the different needs and hearing disability of the user. Hearing aids are however, not without their own problems. Patients may well find them uncomfortable or conspicuous to wear. This perhaps more so if the benefit offered is insufficient to meet the patients’ expectation and needs.
Conventional Hearing aids require a sound leak proof occlusion of the ear canal by the ear mold in order to work well. Patients may find the fitting ear mold a little uncomfortable to use. Also, slight movement could alter its position easily and this can create feedback whistling sound, when the amplified sound leaks out of the ear canal, and re-enters the microphone of the same hearing device. This is similar to the whining feedback during karaoke sessions when the sound is picked up by the same microphone in a reverberating circuit.
When properly prescribed and fitted, conventional Hearing aids are a good option to rehabilitate most hearing problems.
Single sided hearing deafness (SSD) is not uncommon. There are all kind of reasons including accidents & trauma, medication, surgery, strokes, brain tumours, etc. However, usually the reason is never known (idiopathic) as in patients who experience sudden hearing loss of unknown cause. It has been suggested that overall, single sided hearing loss may be as common in our population as 12 in every 100,000 persons.
What problems do these SSD sufferers have?
SSD patients cannot hear clearly from one side, and therefore do not have stereoscopic sound i.e. they are unable to localize the source of a noise. Also in noisy environments, their only hearing ear is challenged by the useless “noise” that masks the useful “sounds” that they want to hear e.g. speech of a friend in an interesting conversation over cocktails in a crowded party.
SSD patients also automatically modify their lifestyles to better suit their condition. For example, they will always walk and talk with family and friends standing, sitting and walking on their better hearing side. They will arrive at meetings earliest, not because they are the keenest, but so that they can sit strategically with their good ear to the meeting attendees.
What is the solution?
The state of the art evidenced based solution that is better than others on the market, is the Cochlear™ baha® ( bone anchored hearing aid ) hearing system. The Cochlear™ baha® hearing system was FDA-approved for the treatment of single sided deafness in 2003, and has been successfully used to treat specific hearing conditions in Hong Kong since 1996. The technology translates sounds from an hearing processor, through a titanium implant, to the cochlea or inner ear. The vibrations received are perceived as sounds, and the patient “hears”.
How does the baha help with single sided deafness?
The Cochlear™ baha® hearing system is applied to the deaf side of the head. Sounds that it “hears” are conducted though the implant to the other good and normally functioning inner ear on the opposite side of the head. The good ear interprets the sound as coming from the deaf side, and the brain does the rest.
Is the hearing normal then?
The hearing is not normal as there is only one inner ear that is functioning and translating sound from both sides. However the brain is able to understand the difference. For the patient, they can now hear sounds from their deaf side.
How do I know if the baha will help me?
The Cochlear™ baha® hearing system comes with a Softband™ for trial in a clinic setting.
You will be assessed with the Softband™ and advised if the Cochlear™ baha® solution is the right one for you.
If you are a potential candidate, you can try the Cochlear™ baha® processor in your different sound situations specific to your lifestyle and then choose for yourself.
The Cochlear™ baha® hearing system
The Cochlear™ baha® ( bone anchored hearing aid ) sound processor system has been successfully used to treat specific hearing conditions in Hong Kong since 1996. The technology translates sounds from a hearing processor, through a titanium implant, to the cochlea or inner ear. The vibrations received are perceived as sounds, and the patient “hears”.
For the surgeon and the baha client, this simply translates to a direct bone conduction hearing system that is:
• surgically simpler with the Hong Kong incision,
• faster with single stage surgery,
• earlier for baha use with improved implant coating technology and design, and
• higher in fidelity hearing performance with the latest series of digitally programmable hearing processing systems.
Currently the indications by clinical condition for the baha hearing system include any of the following:
Conductive hearing losses e.g. congenital aural atresia, mastoidectomies
Mixed hearing losses e.g. post-irradiated nasopharyngeal cancer patients with hearing difficulties
One-sided total hearing losses ( or medically, single sided deafness, SSD)
How do we know if a patient will benefit from the baha processor. Simply we let them try it with a softband. If they like it, they are potential candidates for….
the only hearing implant system that “you can try before you buy”.
The information on this website is for general educational purpose only. Readers should consult their physician before considering treatment, and should not interpret their condition solely based on the information above. 以上資訊僅提供教育用途。你應該諮詢醫生有關的治療方法，而不應完全依賴網站上的資訊。