A Bone Anchored Hearing Device (BAHD) is a special type of hearing aid that is surgically implanted behind the ear. They are usually for people who have conductive hearing loss, meaning their inner ear is normal but there is damage to the outer or middle ear. The damage can come from chronic ear infections or a malformation from birth. Children younger than five years old can use the device with a headband. BAHD can also be used for people who can’t use normal hearing aids, such as those with an unaidable hearing loss in one ear.
How does the BAHD work?
The BAHD uses a hearing aid connected to a small titanium implant. The implant is surgically placed in the bone behind the ear. The bone acts as a pathway for sound to travel straight to the inner ear, without involving the outer and middle parts of the ear.
I think I may benefit from a BAHD. What should I do?
Contact your local Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centre (NSHSC) for a complete hearing test. Your audiologist will review the hearing test results and discuss whether or not you are a BAHD candidate. If you decide this might be the right choice for you, a referral will be made to an NSHSC audiologist working with an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (ENT) who performs this surgery. Currently these sites are at Health Park in Sydney and the QEII Health Sciences Centre or IWK Health Centre in Halifax. You will get to try a BAHD using a headband attachment. You will be given information about the BAHD and the BAHD Program and then decide if a BAHD is right for you.
Questions may be directed to your local NSHSC site.