Bone Anchored Hearing Aid and Bone Conduction Hearing Aid
Differences between Bone Conduction Hearing Aids and Bone Anchored Hearing Aids.
The below answer that helps us distinguish between the two comes from Megan, one of our support group members. Megan is working toward her PhD in auditory studies and happens to have Microtia and Atresia of her right ear.
Thank you for this information Megan!
“A Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA/Baha) is considered a medical device whereas a bone conduction hearing aid is considered a “hearing aid”. While both devices directly stimulate the cochlea/inner ear, they are labeled differently for the FDA and insurance companies. A BAHA has a titanium abutment that is surgically implanted while the bone conduction hearing aid is not implanted, it looks similar to a standard air conduction hearing aid (for people with sensorineural/cochlear hearing loss). The BAHA softband is not technically a bone conduction hearing aid because of the FDA/insurance labeling. Even though the softband does not have a surgical abutment, it is the same device that is attached to the abutment.
Both devices will address the conductive hearing loss due to microtia/atresia equally. It is more a personal preference as to which device you choose to use. I suspect that the bone conduction hearing aid is cheaper because of the labeling as a hearing aid instead of a medical device.”
The below answer that helps us distinguish between the two comes from Michelle, one of our support group members who is also an audiologist.
Thanks for this helpful information Michelle!
“From everything I know, the Bone Conduction Hearing Aid and a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid are the same. A Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid is a type of hearing aid based on bone conduction. It is primarily for people who have conductive hearing losses, unilateral hearing loss and people with mixed hearing losses who cannot otherwise wear ‘in the ear’ or ‘behind the ear’ hearing aids. The acronym Baha is a trademarked product by the Cochlear company.
Bone-anchored hearing aids use a surgically implanted abutment to transmit sound by direct bone conduction to the inner ear, bypassing the external auditory canal and middle ear. Both Cochlear and Otticon’s Baha bone conduction hearing devices utilize a bone-anchored hearing aid . Both also use a snap-lock which allows them to clip onto the implanted abutment.”
Here is a picture of the BCHA “bone conduction hearing aid.” A BCHA is attached to a wire headband. However, you can replace the wire head band with a softer head band. Thank you to our support group member, Kristin Logsdon, for providing a picture of a BCHA.
Thank you Kristin!
Pictured above are some options of BAHAs on softband head bands.