Author Topic: A few BAHA questions?  (Read 3151 times)

stoneaxe

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A few BAHA questions?
« on: March 22, 2009, 01:26:23 am »
I haven't even considerd the BAHA before this second so please excuse my ignorance. I would like to be able to stop having to turn my head and ask folks to repeat themselves but I have a few questions.

1. Is it waterproof? I'm not interested if it will interupt surfing. I assume you can remove the processor?

2. How well do you like it? Does it really work well?

3. Any other F.A.Q.s I should be asking?

Edit...Does it work for radio-surgery patients?

Thanks,
Bob
« Last Edit: March 22, 2009, 01:36:16 am by stoneaxe »
Bob - Official Member of the Postie/Toasty Club
6mm AN treated with Proton Beam Radiosurgery in March 2004
at Mass General Hospital, Dr's Loeffler and Chapman
Cut the little bugger out the second time around in 2009..translab at MGH with Dr's McKenna and Barker.
http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

Catflower

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Re: A few BAHA questions?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2009, 09:19:05 am »
The processor isn't waterproof, but you can remove it.  I've had mine 8 months and it's OK, but it doesn't help me any with directional sound.  I still don't know where sound is coming from.  When I'm in a situation where there is a lot of background noise the only thing I hear is the background noise which is quite annoying.  There is an adjustment for this purpose, but it doesn't help me much.  I guess I would do it all again.  I think maybe my expectations were too high.

Linda in WV

Tamara

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Re: A few BAHA questions?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2009, 02:59:02 pm »
Hi there -
  I've had my BAHA since just before Christmas.  You must remove the processor before swimming or showering or surfing.  I can't imagine SSD is too great an inconvenience surfing, though I've never surfed, so don't know for sure  ;)
  I find it most useful for the circumstance that you describe.  I say "What?" a whole lot less now, especially in groups of people.  The range of sound it quite limited and the sound quality is tinny, but you can understand speech, which was the biggest deal to me.
  I would definitely get it again!
  I'm sure that Jan will chime in here when she sees this thread, too.

Best wishes,
Tamara
7 mm AN left side
translab 6-12-08
postop issues including CSF leak, eye issues, and facial palsy.  All issues resolved at 9 mos. except slight facial palsy & weakness.  Continuing to improve...

lori67

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Re: A few BAHA questions?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2009, 03:07:18 pm »
He he he... I'm getting in here before Jan, our resident BAHA Queen!   :D

I've had my BAHA for a little over a year now and I love it.  It doesn't help with the directionality much, although I have noticed when I have it on, and I'm waiting for an elevator, I no longer have to look around to see which light is lit to find out which one just went "ding".  So, I guess it can help a little with that.

I just appreciate being able to hear the passengers in my car (and appreciate even more being able to turn it off when I have a car full of kids), being able to hear people at a restaurant if it's not a really noisy one and not having to spin my head around like Linda Blair (Exorcist style) to aim my good ear at what I want to hear.

It's got it's limitations - not great in a very noisy environment, not perfect sound quality and not waterproof, but as far as I'm concerned, the benefits definitely outweigh the limitations.

Ok, Jan, your turn...
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.

JerseyGirl2

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Re: A few BAHA questions?
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2009, 08:59:01 pm »

It's got it's limitations - not great in a very noisy environment, not perfect sound quality and not waterproof, but as far as I'm concerned, the benefits definitely outweigh the limitations.

I've worn my BAHA Intenso since June 2008 and agree with Lori's assessment. My hearing loss was very gradual over the course of a number of years, so, in retrospect, I had adjusted quite well to virtual SSD prior to my AN diagnosis (I thought the doctor was going to tell me I needed a hearing aid -- not an MRI!). I'm very happy with my BAHA -- what I like best is that I can hear someone speak on my right hand side in meetings without having to physically turn in that direction.

Catherine (JerseyGirl 2)
Translab surgery and BAHA implant: House Ear Institute, Los Angeles, 1/2008
Drs. J. House, Schwartz, Wilkinson, and Stefan
BAHA Intenso, 6/2008
no facial, balance, or vision problems either before or after surgery ... just hearing loss
Monmouth County, NJ

wendysig

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Re: A few BAHA questions?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2009, 09:58:02 am »
Bob,

I am impatiently waiting to be able to use my processor so I have no personal experience with sound quality yet, but it does work for anyone.  I would suggest that you ask your doc to let you try the demo and see how you like it.  I was already 99% sure I wanted BAHA before the demo, but it really blew me away and I knew I had to have it.  As Lori and Catherine have said the sound isn't perfect but it beats SSD by a long shot.  My BAHA gotcha day is in less than two weeks so I'll let you know if it meets my expectations.

Wendy
1.3 cm at time of diagnosis -  April 9, 2008
2 cm at time of surgery
SSD right side translabyrinthine July 25, 2008
Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York, NY
Extremely grateful for the wonderful Dr. Choe & Dr. Chen
BAHA surgery 1/5/09
Doing great!

leapyrtwins

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Re: A few BAHA questions?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2009, 10:30:24 am »
Sorry I'm just getting around to reading your post, Stoneaxe.  I've been off of the forum for a few days.

Anyway, IMO the BAHA is an incredible way to deal with hearing loss - and no, you don't have to have AN surgery to qualify for one.  The only requirements are 1) you are completely deaf in one ear (unilaterally deaf) and 2) you have some hearing in the other ear.  It doesn't matter how you came about being deaf - it can be congenital, due to an AN, etc.

I had my surgery on 3/4/08 and it was literally a piece of cake.  It took about 90 minutes from start to finish and a lot of that time was spent just having my head draped with lots of sheets in the outpatient OR.  I was awake during the entire procedure - in fact, spent some quality time joking around with my doctor while he shot my head with lidocaine, drilled the hole in my skull, etc.   After he was done with the implant, I could have walked out of the OR if they would have let me.  It was that simple.  Absolutely NOTHING like AN surgery.  I went out to lunch after the procedure and then to my son's volleyball game - all while sporting my very chic "BAHA hat" (pictures posted on the forum somewhere).

My BAHA site healed without a glitch in 90 days and I got my processor on 6/4/08.  It was a red-letter day - heard lots of stuff I'd been missing in the 9 months post AN surgery  ;D

Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat.  I was blown away by the BAHA demo and I am not a bit disappointed by the real thing.  It has been a very positive improvement in both my personal and my business lives. 

Is the BAHA for everyone?  Quite frankly, no.  Some people just don't want a titanium post drilled into their skull and I totally understand that.  But that isn't an issue for me.  I like the way the processor is covered up by the hair on my head.   A hearing aid in my ear just isn't for me.

As everyone else said, the BAHA won't give you back your "normal" hearing - nothing will - but IMO it's the next best thing.  I am definitely biased though - a TransEar user might make the same claim. 

I'd recommend trying the demo and going from there.  You might want to also PM some forumites who haven't responded to this post yet - Sam Rush, joef, Ellis - they all helped me in my decision making process.  Answered lots of questions that I'm sure they rolled their eyes at too  ::) but they were great.

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

stoneaxe

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Re: A few BAHA questions?
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2009, 01:14:27 am »
Thanks for the responses all. Looks like a positive from everybody. As you can see from my picture I don't have any hair to cover it up so I might look like I'm going to a Star Trek convention as a borg. I've gotten fairly use to the SSD part but was hoping it might help with noisy situations as well. I've grown to dislike social situations that have a lot of background noise because I just can't follow conversations. I still go for my wife's sake but I just nod my head and smile...and get some odd looks occasionally.
Bob - Official Member of the Postie/Toasty Club
6mm AN treated with Proton Beam Radiosurgery in March 2004
at Mass General Hospital, Dr's Loeffler and Chapman
Cut the little bugger out the second time around in 2009..translab at MGH with Dr's McKenna and Barker.
http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

Tamara

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Re: A few BAHA questions?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2009, 05:46:00 am »
Hi again,
  It should help in noisy situations - it does with me.  You do get a lot of background noise but I've found that if I really pay attention, I hear what is being said.  It can still be a bit challenging, but is MUCH better than SSD - I'm a lousy lip-reader.  I can't just casually hear everything, though - it does take some effort.
  I was all for showing off my BAHA but I have longer hair and it is covered.  I don't think anyone's even noticed it so far - I was going to tell people it was the latest Bluetooth accessory and seem really hip and trendy.  I guess I'll leave that to you now...

Best wishes,
Tam
7 mm AN left side
translab 6-12-08
postop issues including CSF leak, eye issues, and facial palsy.  All issues resolved at 9 mos. except slight facial palsy & weakness.  Continuing to improve...

lori67

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Re: A few BAHA questions?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2009, 08:48:33 am »
Stone,

You could let your hair grow long!  Then you'll really fit in with the young surfer dude crowd!   :D

I do like the Bluetooth accessory idea.  I can just see people going to stores all over town trying to get one for themselves!   :D

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

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Re: A few BAHA questions?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2009, 03:27:47 pm »
Stone -

I kind of noticed the hair situation - or lack of - from your profile picture  ;) 

That was one of the reasons I recommend PMing one of the guys with BAHAs like joef, Ellis, or Sam Rush.  Another good one might be Trackman, although he just had his surgery recently and hasn't worn his processor yet.  However, I know he has the same "issue" as you do - if you get my drift - so he could probably give you some insight on his decision making process.

I think Joef has a BAHA picture somewhere on this forum.  If I can find it I'll post the link for you. 

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

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Re: A few BAHA questions?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2009, 03:33:04 pm »
Well, it took some searching, but I found the link.

Here it is http://anausa.org/forum/index.php?topic=2677.0

Please note - the stripes on Joef's processor aren't "the norm".  It seems that Cochlear used to include stickers with their processors - but sadly, they don't anymore  :'(   Lori and I missed out - as did others who came after us  :'(

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