As audiologists, we have many tools at our disposal. We take great pride in handling any hearing query we are presented with here in the Valley of the Sun, and bone-anchored hearing aids are another method to do so. 

They are an advanced piece of medical circuitry that has helped thousands over the years. They address a particular problem that neither prescription hearing aids nor cochlear implants can address. 

Once you have completed the process to see if you are a candidate, this procedure’s success and approval rating are very high among our patients. 

Here’s what you can expect if you’re struggling with your hearing and prescription hearing aids aren’t working as well for you anymore.    

A Quick Description of BAHAs

Bone-anchored hearing aids provide an avenue for sound to travel more efficiently to your brain for processing. They take the sound waves and convert them to vibrations that all the small bones in your ear can accept and interpret. 

This allows the sound waves to bypass the ear canal to be processed by the brain quicker and more accurately. 

Who Will Benefit Most from BAHAs?

As audiologists, it’s our mission to treat and assist anyone in our community who struggles with a hearing loss. To do so, we must have all the tools to treat any condition that comes our way. BAHAs are another weapon in our arsenal that helps people who have not had success with traditional prescription hearing aids. 

The unique nature of how BAHAs work will help patients whose ear canal is no longer helping to process sound.

This could be necessary for someone who wants to get back to enjoying regular conversations with their family and friends or to help them improve their standing at work. 

Hearing is the basis of how we communicate, so finding the best way to help you process sound is our priority. Bone-anchored hearing aids will help those with a severe or prolonged hearing loss where prescription hearing aids are no longer an option.  

If You're Unsure About The Status of Your Hearing, Schedule a Comprehensive Hearing Assessment Here.

BAHAs vs. Cochlear Implants vs. Hearing Aids

Determining your best course of action will always start with a comprehensive hearing assessment. This will give us a great idea of how you hear and how to improve it. Once we’ve done that, we can match you with the best diagnosis.

Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids

This device requires a short surgical procedure to implant a titanium receiver that will accept the vibrations sent by the outer sound processor. The receiver will then take the vibrations and apply them to your inner ear bones. This makes it easy for the brain to process, and you will enjoy crystal clear communication.

Cochlear Implants

Also requiring a short surgical procedure, a cochlear implant takes it a step further and bypasses the inner ear. Once you are fitted with the external sound processor and the internal receiver, sound can be relayed directly to your auditory nerve. This helps those with a very severe hearing loss but still not those with a profound hearing loss, unfortunately.

Prescriptions Hearing Aids

The most traditional and popular hearing assistance is a prescription hearing aid. This will help your ear canal capture sound more efficiently so the signal is still intact when it reaches your brain. There are many kinds of prescription hearing aids, and we can help you find the one that’s most beneficial and comfortable.

Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

As the least powerful of all the hearing assistance solutions, OTCs could still be useful for some who experience a mild or temporary hearing loss. These devices are nothing more than amplifiers in most cases and should be treated as temporary relief. Many draw comparisons of an OTC to the reading glasses you would buy from your local corner store.

What Is the Process of Getting BAHAs?

The first step we must take is to administer a comprehensive hearing assessment. This will tell us precisely what is going on with your hearing so we can make an accurate diagnosis. 

If BAHAs are the best option, we move forward with the outpatient surgical procedure involving an ENT surgical specialist inserting a miniature titanium implant into the mastoid bone. 

The procedure is concise and typically only uses local anesthesia to reduce complications involved with general anesthesia. MIPS (minimally invasive Ponto surgery) reduces additional complications because it doesn’t require suturing, eliminates scarring, and fosters rapid healing. 

Scottsdale ENT Specializes in This

We have the experience and knowledge to determine whether or not BAHAs will suit you. 

If you have any questions about your hearing or that of a loved one, then please contact us right away. We are always standing by and ready to answer your questions. Let’s work together to improve your hearing so you can continue with the more important things in life. 

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Dr. Debra L. Hamila, Au.D., CCC/A

Debra Hamila received her master’s degree in audiology from Cleveland State University and her Au.D. from Arizona School of Health Sciences and has been a practicing audiologist for more than 33 years. She has worked in a variety of ENT offices, hospital, and clinical settings.
    You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again – Regina’s Story

    Regina has suffered from hearing problems since she was an infant, recognized as regular chronic ear infections. And, as with unfortunate events, she has experienced a multitude of audiology catastrophes.

    It was many years before Regina crossed paths with Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat; where her lifetime of hearing problems was addressed effectively and treated with the delicate care that she desperately required.

    Regina’s journey began when she was taken to a regular paediatrician by her mother from a young age. Her ears were, what we describe as an audiologists recipe for disaster, ‘flushed out’.

    This dangerous procedure caused a nasty infection, which spread to her mastoid bone and, at the age of 15, she underwent a tympanoplasty mastoidectomy to stop the infection spreading. This only forbade her future struggles with hearing loss. 

    As with poor diagnosis, Regina was faced with another canaloplasty which didn’t work. Soon after, she received a BAHA, which is a cochlear implant in her skull that acts as a sound processor that detects sound and transforms it into vibrations. 

    However, suffering from a history of poor hearing care, she was unaware of the former issues her ear presented.

    By now, this would be described as any audiologists nightmare. But, we’re proud to have helped Regina on her road to optimum hearing and reconnect her to her loved ones.

    When she arrived at Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat it was evident that she was losing hearing on her right side. At this point, she was fitted with a ReSound hearing device, which provided the catalyst to a new and improved hearing.

    The first thing Regina noticed was the indefinite sound she had been making whilst emptying the dishwasher, completely unaware of the noise she was making!

    “I mean, the detail that I can hear now it’s like, Whoa, I didn’t realize I was making that much noise. I need to be quieter!”

    Treated with professional care, Regina received a comprehensive hearing assessment with Dr. Debra Hamila.

    “I just love, love, love Dr. Hamila, she is such a professional and loving person. I was so impressed with the office and what she did with the ReSound, I just love her.”

    Like many others, it takes years for people to realize they have a hearing problem. Regina described this moment as life-changing.

    “You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again. Especially now I’m a full-time Grammy Nanny, I can hear so much more and it has enriched my life incredibly.”

    What advice would you give to someone who is deliberating on taking the first step towards better hearing?

    “My advice to them would be to have a hearing test. Especially as we age our hearing goes down. It’s really unfortunate that people carry their pride and are not willing to learn to walk with the rock in their shoe. You don’t realise you’re waking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again.”

    Regina is one of many patients who has been impacted by our audiological services and we are proud to have been able to provide the tool towards better hearing and a lifetime of many more memories.