Bone Conduction Hearing Implants
Bone conduction implants may be an option for patients with hearing loss who cannot wear a standard hearing aid due to outer or middle ear problems, absent ear canal or pinna, or due to a total hearing loss in one ear.
A bone conduction device sends the sound directly through bone to the inner ear, instead of trying to send sound through the damaged or missing ear canal.
1 – BONEBRIDGE SYSTEM
Bonebridge is a partially implantable system which comprises of:
a) An external component called speech processor. This captures the sound and transfers it through the skin to the internal component. The speech processor connects to the implant by magnetic attraction.
b) An implant which is placed in the temporal bone. It receives the signals transferred by the speech processor and converts them into mechanical vibrations, which are transferred to the inner ear through the bone.
2 – BONE ANCHORED HEARING AID (Baha)
Baha comprises of:
a) A sound processor (1) that captures sounds and converts them into vibrations.
b) A connecting abutment (2) transfers the sound vibrations from the sound processor to the titanium implant (2).
c) A small titanium implant (2) is placed in the bone behind the ear where it fuses with the bone to form a very strong bond. The implant transfers the sound vibrations through the bone directly to the cochlea (4), bypassing the outer or middle ear completely.
3 – Baha Attract System
In the Attract system, the implant is placed under the intact skin. It uses a magnetic connection between the internal and external components.
4 – Ponto Bone Anchored Hearing System
Ponto, similar to Baha, comprises of a sound processor, a connecting abutment and a small titanium implant.