Author Topic: Baha vs. cochlear implant  (Read 3856 times)

Tisha

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 306
Baha vs. cochlear implant
« on: October 30, 2008, 11:39:40 am »
Will someone please direct me or tell me the difference between a BAHA, transear and Cochlear implant.  If I were to lose the hearing in my AN ear, the neuro told me they would insert a cochlear implant.  I also have a regular digital hearing aid for my non-AN ear, due to loss of high pitched tones.  He never mentioned BAHA or transear.  He also said he wouldn't put one in unless the hearing got really bad in my hearing aid ear.  However, it's pretty bad without my AN hearing ear right now.  WAs that confusing?

Thanks

tisha
1.7 x 1.0 x .9 cm (diagnosed Oct 2008)
1.8 x 1.2 x 1.1 cm  (July 2010-swelling)
1.5 x .9 x .9 cm  (Mar 2013 - 5 yr MRI)
Cyberknife at Stanford, week of 1/12/09 -  Drs. Chang and Soltys

lori67

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3187
Re: Baha vs. cochlear implant
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2008, 12:18:54 pm »
I'll give you my non-expert 2 cents here, but keep in mind - it's non-expert..

A Cochlear Implant is used only if you are completely deaf on both sides, but have at least one functional cochlea and cochlear nerve.  In some surgeries, the entire cochlear nerve is removed from the AN side, so you can't use that one.  If by chance, you lose your hearing on the non AN side, but the cochlea and cochlear nerve are still functional, a CI might be an option. There are many other variables that go into determining who is a candidate for one as well.  I am not aware of any AN patients that have a CI (that doesn't mean they don't exist, I just don't know of them) - however, in cases of NF2, where the cochlear nerve is non-functional on both sides, there is an ABI (Auditory Brainstem Implant), which sortof acts like the cochlear nerve and sends stimulation directly into the brain stem, thereby bypassing the cochlea, which doesn't work.

A BAHA works by placing a small titanium screw into the bone behind your ear.  To that, you attach a processor with microphones - the microphones pick up the sounds from your AN side, process them into sound waves that are transmitted through the bone and around into the functioning cochlea on your good side.  If your hearing loss on your good side is due to something other than a poorly funtioning cochlea, this is still an option for you, but you'd need to determine the cause of your hearing loss on the good side first.

I don't know alot about TransEar, but I believe they use the same theory of bone conduction, but there is no surgical implant.  I think it is worn in the AN ear, sound is routed through the bone again and goes into a receiver on the good ear.  This is a good option if you don't want to go the surgical route.  I decided against it because I have very small ear canals and can't stand anything in my ears so I knew I wouldn't use it.  There are many people on the forum who have these and can probably explain it better than I did.

All of them have good informational websites that can probably give you more technical info and then maybe, armed with that info, you can present that to your doctor and see what he has to say.

I hope this didn't confuse you even more.  Eventually, this will all seem like common knowledge - especially if you spent a long time researching your options like a lot of us did.  But considering the majority of the medical field hasn't heard of these products, I guess it's only common to us!

Lori
Right 3cm AN diagnosed 1/2007.  Translab resection 2/20/07 by Dr. David Kaylie and Dr. Karl Hampf at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.  R side deafness, facial nerve paralysis.  Tarsorraphy and tear duct cauterization 5/2007.  BAHA implant 11/8/07. 7-12 nerve jump 9/26/08.

leapyrtwins

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10804
  • I am a success story!
Re: Baha vs. cochlear implant
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2008, 12:39:02 pm »
Excellent explanations, Lori  8)

I'll just add a few things.

If you opted for a BAHA, there are two different processors (tiny hearing aids) - the Divino and the Intenso.  If the hearing in your "good" (non-AN) ear is "normal" you'd probably get a Divino; if it isn't "normal" or was diminished, you would get the Intenso, which is more powerful.

The TransEar does go in your ear canal (and behind your ear also) - it's specially molded to fit you and only you, which makes it work better than most conventional hearing aids.  That said, good fit is a MUST. 

Here is a link that talks about the BAHA   http://www.umm.edu/otolaryngology/baha.htm

And another one that talks about the TransEar  http://www.umm.edu/otolaryngology/baha.htm

As Lori mentioned the Cochlear implant is for patients who are bilaterally (double-sided) deaf.  You can find out more information about Cochlears through the Cochlear America website  http://www.cochlearamericas.com/

Jan

Retrosigmoid 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
AN 3.0 cm left side (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD.  BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010

I don't actually "make" trouble..just kind of attract it, fine tune it, and apply it in new and exciting ways

Tisha

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 306
Re: Baha vs. cochlear implant
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2008, 12:56:16 pm »
Thank you both.  I started losing my hearing in my non-AN ear about 12 years ago...high pitched only.  It was a very gradual decline, and only in the past 3 years did I notice I was turning my head to hear.  I finally got a digital hearing aid in January.  With my hearing aid and my then "good" ear, I thought I was set to go for life.   Ha!   8 months later, the fullness occurs in my good ear.

I did have an MRI back 12 years ago, and they did a round of antibiotic, etc.  They have no idea, they think it could have been a virus.

Thanks for all the information.  I'm not really at that point yet, it's only been a week of when I found out.  I feel a little information overload, but can't bring myself to not come here daily.  I think Sunday I took a break. 

I'm calmer to some degree and the anxiety attacks have gone.  I guess my interest in implants is that I was experiencing hyperacusis (or recruitment since I do have an AN), and it got really bad this weekend, I found out about it here, researched it, then my anxiety attacks started again because I though "how much more do I have to deal with, this is agonzing".  Neurolotgist put me on steroids and it improved drastically in just two doses.  However, he said that I can't take them long term and I"m really scared.

This is almost worse than worrying about my AN because it hurts and is frightening to deal with.

I'm wondering if it continues if i should begin considering Radiation..particulary fractionated, because I don't think I can live with this.  I wonder if I did that if the hyperacusis would go away.  Just rambling now.

Tisha

 
1.7 x 1.0 x .9 cm (diagnosed Oct 2008)
1.8 x 1.2 x 1.1 cm  (July 2010-swelling)
1.5 x .9 x .9 cm  (Mar 2013 - 5 yr MRI)
Cyberknife at Stanford, week of 1/12/09 -  Drs. Chang and Soltys

leapyrtwins

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10804
  • I am a success story!
Re: Baha vs. cochlear implant
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2008, 01:13:56 pm »
Tisha -

word of advice on the forum.  There's a lot of information here, but it can be overwhelming and it can also be depressing at times.

Take time away from it when you need it.  And also remember that everyone's AN journey is unique - we all experience different things and recover at different rates from the treatment option we decide to choose.

It is frightening to find out you have an AN, but we're here to help you in any way we can.  We don't mind if you vent either - so use us for the support you need.  We also tend to get silly whenever we can - it helps alleviate the stress and fear; don't hesitate to join in  :)

Good luck,

Jan
Retrosigmoid 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
AN 3.0 cm left side (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD.  BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010

I don't actually "make" trouble..just kind of attract it, fine tune it, and apply it in new and exciting ways