General Category > Hearing Issues

Opinions about BAHA

(1/4) > >>

I am 10 years SSD and am now considering getting a BAHA. I have tried CROS and Transear and they have not worked out for me. I am kindly asking those who have a BAHA for honest opinions.  I want to know the good and bad.  I have heard that they do not work well if it's been a long time since the deafness. I tried the trial band and did not have a "wow" moment.  I hardly noticed hearing differently.  I was told that it would take a while to notice any benefit.  I don't have trouble when I'm home, I just have trouble in noisy situations.  I would like to know if it helps while at the grocery store hearing the cashier,  in restaurants, outdoors in open spaces, i.e. the beach.  These places are where I have the most difficulty.  Also is it comfortable wearing glasses?  If I lean back with my head on the sofa, does it get in the way?  Does anyone have problems with irritation or infection around the abutment?  I know this is a lot of questions, but I want to know if I am making the right decision before I have this permanent screw drilled into my skull.  Thanks in advance.

james e:
Hi Mary. I am SSD and had a BAHA surgery during my AN surgery March 2010. I had 15% of my hearing left on my AN side. Had to wait 3 months for my screw to become part of me and then I was plugged in. There was no WOW moment for me.

My first BAHA was a Cochlear BP100 and it sounded like listening to an old AM radio, sort of a hollow sound, but I loved it. After about 4 years my good ear stated going south and the BP100 was turned up as loud as it would go and the sound was distorted. BP100 is no longer produced,

At 5 years I got a Cochlear BAHA 5 and it sounds like real voices, and I also got a hearing aid for my good ear. I can operate both with my iPhone and both are bluetooth.

Just went to a July 4th pool party and had to turn off my BAHA, and later on my hearing aid because of all the noise. I could not hear a conversation unless I was touching distance away and I could watch the mouth of the speaker. For me, Neither of my hearing devices can overcome lound noses. It might work differently for other people, so do not decide based on my opinion,

I do not wear my BAHA outdoors because it really amplifies the wind rushing over it.

It is wonderful in a room of normal conversation. It does not help locating sound.

Would I do it again? Yes.

Hi MaryQ .....

Just adding my "two cents" here .....  You are correct that the longer you have been SSD, the more the brain has learned to adapt to only having input from one side.  Therefore, it (the brain) is slow to recognize new sounds coming through the bone to your only working cochlea.  As you know, a bone-anchored hearing device does not replace the missing cochlear input.  Thus, those of us who are SSD will always be SSD.  That means the device will only take in the sounds from our deaf side and transmit them to the hearing side via bone conduction.

Although technically we cannot have directionality because our hearing is only from one auditory nerve, if one is newly deaf when receiving the post, sometimes the brain can learn to make some distinctions between the normal hearing input and the input from the bone conduction.

Like james e, my abutment was implanted at the time of my AN translab surgery.  I have an Oticon Medical Ponto Pro, in which the sound to me is like an excellent sound system.  I wear it 11-12 hours a day ..... basically putting it on after my shower in the morning and forgetting about it until just before bed at night.

I have two settings, plus the telecoil setting, but use the standard setting for everything except listening to music (concerts, etc.).  The latest version of the Ponto Pro (Ponto 3) has wireless capability through a streamer.  I am awaiting approval to upgrade.

The main advantage of a BAHA or a Ponto is having input from sounds coming from one's deaf side.  For example, hearing traffic, someone speaking to me on that side, etc.  Wearing glasses is not a problem because your doctor will place the abutment where it will not touch them.  Wearing hats/helmets can be an issue so if you have favorite types, tell your doctor, and/or the helmet may need an adaptation.  Anything snugly touching the processor, will cause feedback.  My processor does not touch the sofa when I put my head straight back, but it would if I turned my head to that side.

If you follow the instructions on cleaning around the abutment and keeping your hair clean, irritation/infection is usually not a problem. In the past six years, I have had maybe two occasions of irritation and a tiny dab of Neosporin cleared it overnight.

Now, to be perfectly honest, because I also have roaring/squealing tinnitus, when I am in a noisy environment, the tinnitus ramps up and any hearing becomes extremely difficult.  I also have trouble sorting out where the sound is coming from when too many people are talking at once (or there is a lot of background noise).  I don't think this is a malfunction of the Ponto's usefulness.

If I were you I would try a Ponto trial headband and if you still cannot discern sounds coming through (while putting your finger in your hearing ear), you might want to talk with a second audiologist (preferably one with a doctorate in audiology) for advice on your potential success.

PM me if you would like to talk privately.

Best wishes.


Hi MaryQ,,,
I have been SSD since surgery in 2011. I waited 3 yrs then got the Cochlear BAHA 4 in Dec 2014. I had a hard time adjusting to it and found myself pretty unhappy most of the time with it's performance and didn't wear it much. I believe that mine was not functioning properly most of the time though as I had it fixed twice in the 2 year warranty period.

I have just upgraded to the BAHA 5 Power and so far I love it!! The sound is so much better. I can actually hear someone on my deaf side,, which I never could with the 4. It is blue tooth capable and if you have an IPhone,, it pairs with that and there is even an app to help with controls. Pairs for phone calls, streaming music etc, and phone can be used as a microphone during meetings or conversations at the table,,,, I haven't even tried all of it's capabilities yet! It even has the ability to find the device if lost,,,, :o,,, basically tells you if you are close or far from it, ,,VERY helpful,,,

Clarice has good points about her device that also relates to the Cochlear BAHA,, I have difficulty wearing a ball cap but don't often,, I can sit on the couch with no interference until I turn my head,, not much of a bother. I have not had any infections and only minor irritation at the site a couple of times. Usually cleaning with a small brush that's provided and a q-tip of alcohol,,,

I agree that you should find an audiologist who is trained in BAHAs,, either manufacturer,, as they are more informed about the devices. They will also be able to program your device once you receive it. I travel an hour out of town to my audiologist because she is trained with the BAHA. She has been a wonderful source of knowledge to answer my questions,,,,

Good luck to you,, you can also pm me if you'd like discuss anything,,


Directionality is still a problem but will be with any aid I believe.

I'm not a fan of a BAHA. It's invasive surgery to help with the sound shadow on your deaf side. It will not help in noisy environments and will not help in localizing sounds. If you've tried the trail band and it did not make things better, why proceed?

Enough of problems, let's look at solutions.

One is to do nothing and rely on other factors. Your ability to lip-read - without effort on your part - will improve with time. Your ability to localize sounds will improve with time (if someone calls your name and they're not in sight, they're probably behind you).

Another solution is a cross hearing aid. As effective as a BAHA but without the invasiveness.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version