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BAHA and Middle Ear Implants

We fit Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA) and Middle Ear Implants (MEI) to some adults and children who are unable to wear regular hearing aids and for whom Cochlear Implants are not suitable.

Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA)

A BAHA system sends sound through the skull bone to the inner ear, rather than through the ear canal like regular hearing aids.

It can be useful for people with problems in their outer or middle ears, such as conductive and mixed hearing losses. It can also send sound from one side of the head to the other, in the case of single-sided deafness.

BAHA systems consist of two parts - the external processor, worn on the side of the head, and a way of attaching it to the head.

Permanent ways of attaching the BAHA processor use a small operation to attach an abutment or a magnet to the skull. The BAHA processor then clips onto the abutment or onto a magnet.

You can take the BAHA processor on and off, but the attachment stays in place on your head. Non-permanent ways of wearing the BAHA processor use a fabric Softband, plastic headband or special sticker clip. This depends on the type of BAHA system used.

As part of your assessment for a BAHA you will be asked to complete a two-week trial wearing a loan device on a non-permanent solution.

Middle Ear Implant (MEI)

A MEI is a hearing system implanted in the middle ear which mechanically stimulates the inner ear.

It can be useful for people with hearing loss who cannot wear conventional hearing aids and where BAHA are not recommended due to medical or clinical reasons.

MEI systems consist of two parts - the internal implant (requiring an operation) and the external processor, worn on the side of the head.

Last reviewed:04 August 2023