Author Topic: BAHA 5 difficulties  (Read 1657 times)

musician8

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Mack
BAHA 5 difficulties
« on: June 02, 2018, 09:35:12 pm »
Hello AN family,
I was diagnosed with a small AN at age 16 and had it removed, leaving me completely deaf in my right ear. Three years later I had a BAHA implanted (with an abutment, not a magnet due to frequent checkup MRIs). I have had the BAHA 5 for 9 months now and wear it consistently. I've been feeling down about it because I still have a lot of trouble understanding speech on my bad side, especially in a noisy space. Even on the noise setting I still have trouble. The BAHA also can not tolerate loud noises - like dog barking or nearby construction or a drummer in a marching band - and will make loud feedback noises/vibrations that really bother me and then I have to turn it off.

Does anyone have these same problems? Is there anything I can do to make it better?

In combination with crusting and on-and-off pain around the abutment I have been questioning my decision to get a BAHA.  As a young person, I have hope that the technology will get better in my lifetime, but I'm unsure if that is something that is even being worked on at the moment.

I'm considering looking into hearing aids for unilateral hearing loss, but fear I will have the same problems as with the BAHA, and hearing aids are not covered by my insurance. Does anyone know about different experiences of BAHA vs. hearing aids?

Thanks

CHD63

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3224
  • Life is good again!!
Re: BAHA 5 difficulties
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2018, 06:21:45 am »
Hi musician8 and welcome to this forum .....

So sorry you are having some issues with your BAHA.  I have had my Oticon Medical Ponto (bone anchored hearing system) for 7 years and am overall very pleased with the results.

First of all, no hearing aid or device will restore your hearing to what your normal, healthy ear was.  That being said, we do have good options these days for assistance to closer to normal hearing.  Since hearing is a really a brain perception thing, it takes the brain a while to adjust to input only from one side (the BAHA, as you know, sends sounds from your deaf side to your hearing side).

It sounds to me like you need to go back to your audiologist for tweaking of the settings if you are getting feedback from a dog barking.

I have three settings on my Ponto: one for normal every day use, one for music (which I love for concerts, etc.), and one for Telecoil (where available).  A trick I have used in noisy spaces to hear speech, is to cup my hand behind my hearing ear.  That seems to focus the desired sound better.

As for the crusting around the abutment, as I am sure you know, it is important to keep it clean and dry.  At the first sign of any pain or crusting around my abutment, I clean it with either hydrogen peroxide or an alcohol pad (too frequent use of either of those, however, can result in drying the skin too much).  If it begins to crust a lot before I can get to it, I use a tiny dab of Neosporin around it overnight and it has always cleared it up.

Always check with your doctor and/or audiologist regarding issues with it for their recommendations.

Best wishes,  Clarice
Right MVD for trigeminal neuralgia, 1994, Pittsburgh, PA
Left retrosigmoid 2.6 cm AN removal, February, 2008, Duke U
Tumor regrew to 1.3 cm in February, 2011
Translab AN removal, May, 2011 at HEI, Friedman & Schwartz
Oticon Ponto Pro abutment implant at same time; processor added August, 2011

leapyrtwins

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10820
  • I am a success story!
Re: BAHA 5 difficulties
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2018, 10:22:55 am »
I clean it with either hydrogen peroxide

Hold the phone!

You should NEVER clean your BAHA site with hydrogen peroxide.  Hydrogen peroxide encourages skin growth and you don't want skin growing around or over your abutment.

Docs recommend clean water; if you want to make sure it's "clean" go with distilled water.

Jan
Retrosig 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
Left AN 3.0 cm (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD. BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010 BAHA 5 8/2015

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

leapyrtwins

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10820
  • I am a success story!
Re: BAHA 5 difficulties
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2018, 10:42:55 am »
Musician -

BAHA's are similar to hearing aids, in that when you get down to basics, their job is to amply sound.  So, any and all sounds are amplified. There is really no way for either device to determine what is sound you want amplified and what is sound that you don't want amplified. 

BAHAs do a fairly good job of filtering out "unwanted" sounds, but they aren't perfect.  Because of all the channels the BAHA 5 has (channels being internal "places" where sound can go - not settings) it does a better job than most BAHAs.  Of the 3 Cochlear models I've had over the past 10 years the BAHA 5 is the best; Cochlear's technology just keeps getting better. 

Cochlear has several accessories for the BAHA 5 and one of them might help with some of your issues.  Go online and check them out - or talk to your audiologist. 

Also check with your audiologist about loud noises giving you feedback.  That should NOT be happening and it won't if your BAHA 5 is programmed correctly.  Your audiologist can always contact Cochlear - they will send a rep out - if he/she can't resolve the issue. 

As far as crusting goes, it's normal to have occasional crusting.  If necessary, you should clean your site with clean water - distilled if you're concerned your tap water isn't "clean" - and use an antibiotic ointment (Neosporin, bacitracin, etc) if you need to. 

I say "if necessary" because I don't actually "clean" my site.  It gets clean when I shampoo my hair daily - and if "crust" occurs I use ointment to clean it up.  It's important to remove the crust before you apply the ointment - so the ointment gets directly on the skin.  Ointment on the "crust" isn't effective in treating it.

Actually the less "products" you put on your site the better because they can cause problems.  Products that contain alcohol will dry the skin out - and may cause it to shrink around your site.  Hydrogen peroxide should never be used - it will cause skin growth. 

If you're getting a lot of crusting (excessive or on a regular basis, rather than occasionally) it may be caused by your shampoo.  Lots of shampoos contain dyes and perfumes.  Try baby shampoo - which is milder and more pure - and see if that helps.

Best,

Jan
Retrosig 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
Left AN 3.0 cm (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD. BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010 BAHA 5 8/2015

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