Hearing Loss

Bone Anchored Hearing Aids: Cochlear BAHA, Medel Bonebridge and Medel Vibrant Soundbridge

Indications

Advances

A number of recent developments have significantly improved the results of bone anchored hearing aids. This includes the implantable devices as well as the external processors. Lower profile, magnetic options and wireless integration are all upgraded features.

 

The Devices:

Cochlear BAHA, bone anchored hearing aid

The cochlear BAHA 5 system allows a wide fitting range with connection options and processor options.

The 3 processors are the BAHA 5 (up to 45dB), BAHA 5 Power (up to 55dB) , and the BAHA 5 Super power (up to 65dB). This allows a much wider fitting range for appropriate patients.

The processor can then be attached either via a transcutaneous magnet, or an abutment. The obvious advantage of a magnetic attachment is the lack of an abutment that passes through the skin that has a small risk of causing skin irritation. The advantage of the abutment is that it provides the most efficient transfer of sound.

baha_5_system

 

BAHA attract, which allows the placement of a subcutaneous magnet, that avoids the need for a trans-cutaneous abutment.

baha_attract

For further information Cochlear Baha.

 

Medel Bonebridge

This implant is placed completely subcutaneously, requiring approximately 4mm of bone to secure the implant. Once implanted the internal device connects to the external component magnetically in the same way that a cochlear implant does. The external processor, the Samba, is very low profile and this also minimises feedback.

The other feature of this device is that it is an active implant. This means that the microphones of the external device picks up a sound wave and converts this into an electrical signal. This is transferred to the internal component which then converts this into a vibration. The limit of sensorineural hearing loss is 45-50dB.

 

BCI 601Samba external processor

The Medel Bonebridge.

Internal component and external processor

For further information Bonebridge.

 

Vibrant Soundbridge

The Vibrant soundbridge is a middle ear implant system that is a great option for hearing rehabilitation in patients with a significant conductive hearing loss not amenable to standard hearing aids. The audiologic advantage over a BAHA or a Bonebridge is that the unilateral cochlear is stimulated maximising the advantages of directionality. At this stage the device is not on the Australian Prosthesis list so is expensive, but specific cases can attract a special dispensation. In my opinion at this stage it’s best indication is for patients who have had to have the external part of the ear either removed or closed. The active part of the implant is connected to residual ossicles or even to the round window.

vibrant-soundbridge-implant

For further information Vibrant Soundbridge

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to make an appointment.

If you are a candidate we will discuss in more details and arrange a trial as appropriate.