The concept of hearing aids can bring to mind any number of images, but chances are that a BAHA hearing aid (bone anchored hearing aid) is not something that came immediately to mind.
Just what are they, anyway?
And how can they improve a hearing impaired person’s quality of life?
A Bone-anchored hearing aid is a hearing aid designed to help those who suffer from conductive hearing loss, unilateral hearing loss, or those with mixed hearing losses as well as for those who (for whatever reason) cannot wear a hearing aid that tucks behind the ear or slips into the ear canal.
A BAHA (which, incidentally, is a trademarked brand) surgically implants an abutment which conducts the sound waves through the bones, bypassing the outer and middle ear altogether.
It works by having a titanium prosthesis embedded directly into the skull with a tiny abutment (piece) left outside.
On this exposed piece is placed a sound processor that transmits the sound waves into the skull via the titanium plate so as to get directly to the nerves of the inner ear.
As you might expect, this kind of hearing aid is not for everyone.
In fact, it is used almost exclusively for those individuals who (for whatever reason) have either been born without specific working parts of the outer ear, eardrum or middle ear or who have had these parts damaged somehow.
The implant allows the sounds to bypass the damaged (or missing) parts of the auditory system and sends the sound waves directly to the inner ear where they can be translated into the electrical signals that re sent to the brain and processed as specific sounds.
One of the most common ways to lose one’s sense of hearing is, of course, to lose it gradually over time due to old age.
But the next most common way to lose one’s hearing comes from direct exposure to dangerously loud noises, something that those who live in industrialized civilizations have to contend with on a daily basis.
From lawnmowers to construction equipment, heavy traffic, aircraft engines, the grinding shriek of the trash truck and loud rock concerts, there are dozens of sounds that fall into the “danger” zone for the human ear, for while our hearing range is quite broad, the ear is a delicate instrument and can easily be damaged either by repeated exposure to these loud sounds, through specific kinds of illness, trauma to the head or even through the use (or over use) of certain kinds of drugs.
You would think, with so many people suffering from some sort of hearing loss, that people would not be so sensitive to the concept of having some sort of hearing help if they are suffering from a hearing condition, but unfortunately there appears to be quite a distinct social stigmata attached to using outside hearing aids or even in admitting that one has a hearing problem.
Indeed, using a hearing aid has come to be associated with old age; people in nursing homes and everything about getting older that our society seems to be in such fear of.
But the truth is that there are plenty of younger individuals who suffer from various forms of hearing loss due to anything from illness to a car accident to simply using their Mp3 player headphones too loud for too long, and it is a pity that more people do not take advantage of the technology available to help them regain some level of their hearing.
Better yet, it is a pity that more individuals do not take preventative measures to make certain that they do not lose their hearing to begin with.
Have you ever heard a lawnmower?
It has been determined that any noise that is as loud as or louder than a lawnmower falls into the “danger” zone of the human hearing range.
That is, we can hear it with no problem, but it is loud enough that repeated exposure can cause permanent hearing loss if we are not careful.
So what is the solution?
The best solution is to be able to intelligently gauge the loudness of the noise around you and take advantage of hearing protection if you think that it could be above the danger threshold level.
Loud noises like construction equipment (specifically jackhammers) loud truck engines (especially when they downshift) that ripping power chord that blows you away at the rock concert (did you know that the musicians wear protective ear plugs to protect their hearing?) and noise cancellation headphones (such as those used by engine technicians at airports) are all examples of protective ear gear; protection that can prevent damage to the delicate working parts of your auditory canal.
So get savvy about hearing loss.
No matter if the hearing loss is the kind for which there is no treatment (damage to the inner ear nerve endings or cilia) or conductive hearing loss which can be treated through fairly simple medical procedures, or even the kind of hearing loss that can be overcome through the use of Baha hearing aids, fooling around with your hearing is no joke, and the health of your ears should always be taken seriously.
BAHA or Not There is An Hearing Aid For You
The use of hearing aids is something you might have been considering, if you’re seeing an extraordinary difference in your capability to hear conversation, the television and other sounds round the home.
The actuality is that there have been several advances made in hearing aids, and now it is increasingly simple to find one that fits your wishes, and one that is going to help you enjoy life the way you were meant to.
You’ll never need to fret about humiliating scenarios or a limited social life, if you are prepared to hear the world the way in which you were meant to hear it!
There are many different types of hearing aids, which is where the advancements become evident.
In the past, there had been only 1 sort of hearing aid, which did not help everybody in each circumstance.
Now, there are plenty of options available.
Some hearing aids work in such a manner that they are going to allow you to find help from them for a selection of hearing loss issues.
This indicates that if you’re going to use a hearing aid, you’ll get an opportunity to hear everything that you have been missing, and this could mean that you now don’t have to lose out on any of the events or conversations in your life.
There are several different types of hearing aids that you can use, depending on the cause and nature of your hearing problems.
The most popular design will simply amplify the sounds that are in the areas where you are, which will enable you to hear everything that is occurring around you.
Some hearing aids include filters, so that background noise is easier for you to ignore, which makes the direct sound or conversation you are attempting to hear much more clear.
If you’re feeling that an hearing aid is going to provide benefits to you, the very first step that you should take is to see your health care professional or visit a audiologist for a total analysis and exam.
This may help you to work out which kind of hearing aid will most closely match your necessities.
Remember that there have been a lot of advances in hearing aid technology, that means that you’re going to be in a position to find the most efficient and effective appliances for you.
Frequently it is just a matter of working until you find the correct hearing aid for your particular needs or issues.
By working with your physician or audiologist, you’ll be able to find the ideal fit for you, which will enable you to have a standard life and hear the things that you should hear.