BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aids)
What is a bone-anchored hearing aid?
A BAHA is the next generation of hearing aids, specifically designed for those who need a hearing device but can’t wear a normal hearing aid. The main difference between standard hearing aids and a BAHA is the way in which they are applied to the individual. Hearing aids simply require fitting with your audiologist, however, BAHA’s are surgically implanted.
What can we offer veterans?
Should we encounter a veteran requiring this type of hearing system, and the National Health Service (NHS) is not speedy enough or not able to support the veteran, then the UK Veterans Hearing Fund may be able to access funding to help.
How does a BAHA work?
The BAHA system is made up of three parts with the titanium fixture fitted directly into the cochlear. The abutment is the part on the outer skull attached to the titanium fixture which allows the sound to pass to the inner ear. There is also the external sound processor which transfers the sound waves into the cochlear. The actual surgery is classed as a minor procedure and performed in outpatients for the simple fixing under the skin of the titanium fixture.
The BAHA is the only device surgically fitted that works by transmitting sound through bone. The external microphone picks up sound waves travelling through the air. These sound waves are then converted to vibrations, which are carried by the nearby bone to little hair cells within the ear.
Once these little hairs detect the vibrations, they trigger a reaction within the auditory nerve producing understandable sound for the user.
What are the benefits of a BAHA?
Why would I need a BAHA over a normal hearing aid?
Occasionally an infection or a condition in the outer or middle ear will take an aggressive hold of the ear and make it untreatable. They also may not be able to be fitted with a conventional hearing aid, rendering a normal hearing aid impossible to wear as it will just exacerbate the condition. The conditions that may make you an ideal candidate for BAHA are as follows:
Meniere’s disease: Which was identified by a French doctor in the 1800s is an inner ear disease resulting in sudden hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, and with pressure or pain.
Chronic otitis media: This is an infection that mainly affects the middle ear cavity. It is usually the result of a bacterial infection which causes an inflammatory response making it painful to wear normal hearing aids.
Cholesteatoma: Is an infection in the top of the eardrum that can cause discharge into the middle ear, and into the cartilage surrounding the ear.
Serious infection of the outer ear canal with constant discharging ears.
Sudden hearing loss, usually the result of exposure to extremely loud sounds or a serious infection which permanently damages the eardrum.
Acoustic neuroma is a non-cancerous brain tumour that develops on the hearing and balance nerve, which connects the inner ear with the brain.
Help Us Fit More Veterans!
Since becoming a charity, we have managed to fit over 50 veterans with top-class hearing aids! However, we still have more than 2,500 veterans who need our help in getting back to a normal standard of life after the hearing damage they received in their years of service. Any donations we receive are a huge help in the lives of our vets and we are eternally grateful for whatever you may be able to spare.
Proudly supporting those who serve!
UK Veterans Hearing Help (now the UK Veterans Hearing Foundation) received the Bronze Award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme in 2016, in 2019 we achieved Silver level and in 2020 we achieved the highest level Gold. The scheme provides an award for organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and armed forces community.