I am a Doctor interested in referring patients for BAHAs. My question is concerns criteria on pure tone average for BAHAs. What hearing threshold level in dB for a conductive hearing loss or mixed hearing loss would you consider as strong candidacy for a BAHA, where there is no additional contra-indication (otitis externa, canal atresia, chronic otitis media, cosmetic).
The Baha System has been a widely accepted treatment option for candidates in Europe with conductive and mixed hearing loss since the 1970's and in the United States since the mid to late 1990's. Baha candidates who are 5 years of age and older should have a mixed or conductive hearing loss that can not be satisfactorily treated with conventional hearing aids or where surgery is not a clear option or previously unsuccessful as far as restoring hearing. The audiometric criterion of the candidate is a 45 dBHL bone conduction pure tone average (.5K, 1K, 2K, 3K) and 60% monosyllabic word score in the indicated ear. The patient can have a bilateral or unilateral conductive hearing loss. Patients with auricular atresia, microtia, chronically draining ears, cholesteatoma, otoslcerosis, and traumatic injuries are very good candidates for the Baha system.
In addition to the mixed/conductive indication, Baha is an effective treatment for patients with single sided deafness (SSD). These patients have traditionally had few effective options for hearing treatment. The Baha System uses transcranial routing of the sound from the deaf ear to the normal hearing ear. Patients who are 5 years of age or older with a profound sensorineural hearing loss and normal hearing in the opposite ear defined as a 20 dBHL air conduction pure tone average (.5K, 1K, 2K, and 3K) is considered a Baha candidate.
For more information on Cochlear, visit www.cochlear.com
Teri Sinopoli, M.A., CCC-A, F-AAA
Baha Clinical Manager
As of August, 2005 Teri is now employed by Cochlear Americas when Cochlear bought Entific Medical Systems and the Baha and Vistafix product line. Teri is responsible for the management of the clinical and technical aspects of the Baha System which includes clinical studies, clinical and technical support, and training and development of training materials for surgeons and audiologists.