Baha stands for Bone Anchored Hearing Aid, and refers to a surgically implanted hearing device that depends on direct bone conduction to transmit sound. FDA-approved and in use since 1977, Baha relies on the skull bones to transmit sound waves to the inner ear, stimulating the nerve fibers and enabling hearing. The newest version is built around Cochlear’s Baha 5 Sound Processor, smaller and more powerful than ever.
The Baha 5 is comprised of three parts: a titanium implant, an external abutment, and a sound processor. The implant is surgically inserted into the skull bone immediately behind the ear, where it eventually fuses into place (a process known as osseointegration). The external abutment is attached to the implant, and the sound processor is connected to the abutment.
The sound processor converts sound into vibrations, which are transferred to the implant. The implant then uses the skull bones as natural conducting pathways to transfer those vibrations to the inner ear, where they are perceived as sound.
The Baha 5 is the smallest sound processor in the industry—and boasts one of the sleekest designs, as well. It is available in a range of colors that are meant to match various hair shades, enabling it to blend in unobtrusively. Many people will be completely unaware of the fact that you are wearing hearing aids.
The Baha 5 isn’t simply cosmetically appealing, though. It features innovative new SmartSound iQ technology that automatically selects a program ideally suited to your listening environment. The result is clear and crisp sound wherever you are.
Additionally, the Baha 5 connects to your iPhone and other Apple devices, allowing you to stream sounds directly from your electronic devices. An included Smart App gives you the flexibility to change programs, adjust volume, and save custom settings. You can even locate your sound processor if you misplace it. You can also connect to other wireless accessories, improving your hearing aids’ functionality and versatility.
Your doctor or audiologist is best qualified to assess whether a Baha 5 implant is the right choice for you. The ideal candidate suffers from a conductive (outer or middle ear) or mixed (combination of middle and inner ear) hearing loss, or single-sided sensorineural deafness. Baha 5 offers less distortion and feedback, and in persons with single-sided hearing loss, sound is transferred directly to the healthy ear. Other patients who are generally considered strong candidates are those with chronic ear infections, congenital ear defects, sudden hearing loss, acoustic neuroma, and Meniere’s disease.