Capital Region Special Surgery medical office Albany, NY

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Medical specialists Albany New York

Bone Anchored Hearing Device

The BAHA system is a bone conducting hearing prosthesis. It is classified as a class 2 implanted decice by the FDA and is not a hearing aid. It is very useful in the treatment of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss caused by the following ear problems:

The BAHA is comprised of two subunits: a titanium osseointegrated screw and a sound processor. The titanium screw is placed into the bone above the ear during a short procedure usually done under local anesthesia. The screw has small holes in the metal that allows growth of bone into it causing a tight union between the bone and metal. This process is called osseointegration. The healing process takes two to six months for this osseointegration to occur. At the end of the healing process the sound processor is attached. Sound is transmitted through the bone of the ear and skull to the delicate nerve endings of the inner ear thus producing amplified sound.

Single sided deafness (sensorineural hearing loss)
Patients with deafness in one ear obviously cannot hear in the affected side. Additionally, they suffer from what is called the “head shadow effect” caused by attenuation of sound by the skull. They also have more difficulty in identifying the direction of sound and find it difficult to understand spoken words in crowded situations such as resteurants. The BAHA significantly helps with these difficulties. In order for the system to work the other (contralateral) ear must have normal or near normal hearing.

Conductive Hearing Loss
The BAHA essentially bypasses any obstruction of sound getting to the cochlear nerves. The only important thing is the sensorineural levels of hearing (bone threshold). Many of these patients cannot be fit with a traditional hearing aid. The BAHA is their only option.

Dr Foyt has performed well over 100 BAHA implants in both children and adults. The device is covered by almost all insurance carriers for conductive indications and most carriers for sensorineural hearing loss.

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