What is a Bone Anchored Hearing Systems (BAHS)?
A BAHS is a type of hearing aid which consists of a titanium implant, an external abutment and a detachable sound processor.
The sound processor picks up sound, converts them into vibrations, and sends them directly to your inner ear; bypassing any problems in the ear canal or middle ear.
Who can have a BAHS fitted?
A BAHS is suitable for people who cannot use or receive little benefit from conventional hearing aids, predominately those with chronic infections and discharge, conductive or mixed hearing loss and/or single sided deafness.
The Shropshire Auditory Implant Service will complete an assessment to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for a BAHS.
If you are a suitable candidate, you will be given an opportunity to trial a BAHS with a headband.
An appointment will be arranged to decide whether the device has
been beneficial before deciding to have a permanent BAHS fitted.
Why don’t ordinary hearing aids work for everyone?
Problems in the ear canal and middle ear can prevent signals sent from conventional air conduction hearing aids from reaching the inner ear with good sound quality. Bone anchored hearing systems bypass this problem by sending sound vibrations directly to your inner ear via your skull bone. Also, with no hearing aid blocking your ear canal, you are likely to experience fewer problems with ear infections and irritation.
Are there any situations where I won’t be able to wear my sound processor?
The processor is not waterproof, so you will have to remove it prior to showering or swimming. It should also be removed during contact sports, to avoid damage or loss. During these breaks you can use a special cover to hide the abutment. You should also remove the processor before going to bed.
Will I be able to use my mobile phone with the sound processor?
SAIS fit Oticon BAHS, which have been tested and proven to be fully compatible with most mobile phones and wireless landline phones.
What about wearing glasses, hats or helmets after surgery?
During your assessment, be sure to mention any headwear that you might want or be required to use. Your surgeon can then take this into account when planning your procedure.
What to do when visiting the hairdresser?
During hair treatments, always cover your abutment. You may use the special abutment cover provided with your sound processor. Make sure to protect or remove your sound processor during visits to the hairdresser or when applying hair products. You should also cover your abutment when using hair gel or hair spray.
Can Ponto activate security control alarms at airports?
The implant and abutment are made of titanium, which doesn’t set off any kind of alert. The sound processor, however, may trigger an alert, but can easily be removed to prevent this.
When travelling abroad, remember to take your MRI/Security control information card with you. If you should need medical treatment, it will help you explain why the implant and abutment must be left in place. You can also present this card when passing through airport security.
Is there any weather condition to be aware of?
If you are visiting or living in an area with high humidity, place your sound processor in the drying tube every night. The drying capsule inside this container absorbs any residual moisture. If you don’t have a drying tube, ask your clinic how to get one.
Your sound processor should never be exposed to extreme heat e.g. by leaving it in direct sunlight, such as on the dashboard of the car, as extreme heat may damage it.
If you are outdoors on a rainy day, use an umbrella to protect your sound processor.
In extremely dusty environments, remove your sound processor, as an accumulation of dust particles might damage it. When you return home, remember to clean both the implant area and the abutment.
Can I go swimming on holidays?
Swimming should not be a problem as long as your skin has healed. After swimming, take a shower to flush out any dirt that might have accumulated either inside or outside the abutment. Important: you need to remove your sound processor before swimming and showering as it is not waterproof.
Are there any special precautions to take when the sound processor is off?
If you take off your sound processor for any length of time, it is possible to protect the abutment with the special cover provided. This will both conceal it and keep it clean. Also, it is good to always keep your sound processor in its case when not wearing it.
Can I undergo an MRI scan?
Yes, you can, but make sure to inform the MRI Professional that you have a bone anchored system when scheduling and visiting the MRI site.