We receive sound in two ways, by air conduction via the ear canal, eardrum, and ossicles, and by bone conduction. Bone conduction transmits sound directly though the bones in the jaw and skull, bypassing the outer and middle ear.
In most cases, those with a hearing loss will be fitted with traditional air conduction devices. Typically, these hearing aids are placed inside the ear canal or behind the ear. However, some people are unable to benefit from this type of device.
The Baha system, which is based on bone conduction, utilizes a titanium implant, which is placed in the skull bone behind the ear. An abutment connects the sound processor with the implant in the bone. This creates direct (percutaneous) bone conduction. In contrast, traditional bone conductors connect indirectly to the bone through unbroken skin (transcutaneous) and work by exerting pressure against the skull.
Direct bone conduction, provided by Baha, may give improved access to sound when compared to traditional bone conductors because sound is not weakened when passing through the skin, muscle and fat covering the skull.