Europe Market Report for Bone Anchored Hearing Systems 2016 - MedCore
Patients with conductive and mixed hearing loss are the primary candidates for bone-anchored hearing aids; this includes patients with chronic inflammation or infection of the ear canal which prevents the use of standard hearing aids, patients with conditions which have led to malformation of the ear canal, patients with single-sided deafness, patients with a bilateral conductive loss due to ossicular disease and patients who have malformed or absent outer ear and ear canals.
A few BAHA manufacturers now use a snap-lock mechanism where the BAHA unit can be clipped onto the implanted abutment; the mechanism serves as a safety feature which helps prevent damage to the surrounding tissue or the bone. The titanium implant component of the device is screwed into the bone through the skin. This creates an open wound, which is a constant risk for infection. Mitigating this risk requires daily care and the use of a topical antibiotic. A prospective patient can test the BAHA device prior to undergoing surgery by wearing a steel band over their ear, which presses against the side of the patient’s skull.
A bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) is a surgically implanted device designed to treat hearing loss by transmitting the sounds it receives through direct bone conduction to the nerve fibers of the inner ear. The device consists of an externally worn receiver and sound processor, which resembles a standard behind-the-ear hearing aid, and an external abutment that vibrates a titanium implant. The hearing aid is operational once the titanium fixture bonds with the surrounding tissue (osseointegration). This process usually takes two to six months from when the device has been implanted, but has been dramatically reduced by Oticon’s new minimally invasive surgical procedure.