About 90% of patients with hearing loss treat their condition with hearing aids. In some cases, though, this isn’t the best hearing loss treatment plan. If this is the case for you or your loved one, your hearing instrument specialist in Spokane will suggest other hearing devices depending on your hearing needs.

The two most commonly used alternative devices for Spokane hearing loss patients are cochlear implants and Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA). These surgically implanted devices are recommended for patients who are severely hearing impaired or profoundly deaf and cannot be treated with traditional hearing aids.

Cochlear Implants

Cochlear implants are unique devices that are quite different from traditional hearing aids. Instead of amplifying sound, they actually translate sound into electrical signals that are sent directly to the auditory nerve. The brain can then perceive these signals as sound.

Cochlear implants come in two parts, one internal and the other external. The internal portion is surgically implanted in the inner ear and contains electrodes and a receiver. The external portion is worn behind the ear and contains a microphone, a speech processor and a transmitter. These devices are manufactured worldwide by Cochlear®.

This hearing loss treatment isn’t for everyone in Spokane. Cochlear implants treat sensorineural (inner ear) hearing loss and work best for young children and adults who lost their hearing after childhood. Patients who opt for cochlear implants must commit to learning how to use them as the transition can prove challenging. With time, though, cochlear implants can allow you to perceive sound and communicate successfully. Talk to your audiologist to find out if you or your loved one should join the quarter of a million people worldwide who have opted for cochlear implants to regain their hearing.

BAHA

Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA) is a system designed to treat conductive (middle or outer ear) hearing loss, single-sided deafness and mixed hearing loss. It has been used since 1977, though it has gone through many improvements over the past four decades.

The BAHA system bypasses the ear canal and middle ear, sending sound vibrations directly to the inner ear using bone conduction. BAHA systems have two components: a titanium implant and an external sound processor. The sound processor must be attached to the head by one of three ways: an abutment, a magnetic implant or a headband. The surgery to implant a BAHA device is simple and is usually done on an outpatient basis. BAHA can be used in patients five and older.