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New Candidate - Need Help PLEASE!!!!!!!!

November 04, 2010
posted by  gtarslinger718

Ok long story short -  I was a tube baby.  Had them 7 times from age 3 - 14.  At 14 I developed a severe cholesteatoma that required 4.5 hours of surgery to remove.  I was told that they had to remove the "anvil" bone and do skin grafts for the eardrum.  Also had a Mastoidectomy.


At 14 I had no interest in wearing a hearing aid and just learned to live with being mostly deaf in my left ear.  I am a musician so this did pose it's share of problems but I managed through life.  Once I hit 30 I had become a Software Development Manager and found myself in more and more meetings.  My wife finally talked me into pursuing a hearing aid.


I was fitted in May 2009, but the audiologist quickly realized teh hearing aid didn't have enough power.  I was fitted with a larger model but now have "weepy" ears as my doctor puts it.  Struggle with infections and the sound quality is not always what I would like.  Just happened across the BAHA online a while back and went down for an ENT visit.  He told me that I look like an Ideal candidate, but wants me to do the BAHA consult with his Audiologist before making a decision.  I am goign in monday to try the headband.  Here are my main questions:


1.  Does anyone wear a hat with their BAHA?

2.  Has anyone gone from an in ear hearing aid to the BAHA?  Doc says I will notice a huge difference, but not exactly like I want to get a screw in my head just for testing purposes

3.  Does anyone here play in a band or perform music.  My hearing aid helps out in this situation but still distorts frequently.  Does anyone experience this with BAHA?


I am excited but nervous at the same time.  If this will truly be better than my HA, then I am all for it but it is just hard to know......


Anything else I should be takign into consideration? 


Thanks for any input....



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Chris H. Regional Manager, Consumer Engagment

November 04, 2010

Hi, My background and yours are similar. I had a Cholesteatoma and Mastodectomy at age 11. Over the next few years, I had two unsuccessful reconstructions. I lived with severe right side hearing loss for decades. My surgeon tells the story of a woman Baha Candidate who wears a helmet, while competitively riding horses. He was able to pick a spot, a bit below normal for the Baha implant, so the helmet doesn't interfer with the device. Talk to your surgeon and see if he's able to move the implant to so you can wear your hats. I never wore a hearing aids. They wouldn't have been effective for my hearing loss. But the quality of my hearing, post Baha has been amazing and a blessing. My son plays in our high school jazz band, marching band and other groups. Since receiving my Baha, I've noticed that music in general and live music in particular is crisper and more well-rounded. Good luck with your appointment! Chris

November 04, 2010

Hi and welcome to the community. First of all, you might want to change your setting to "All Members" or "Open" in your privacy setting located on the left side of your main page. You will be able to get more help if you write any blogs in the future. Right now, no one can see you unless they become friends with you. Your current setting is set on "Semi-private." I do wear a hat now with my bilateral Baha because the abutments are located behind my ears. If you are concerned about wearing a hat, I would suggest to ask your surgeon if you can bring your favorite hat to OR so they can mark the spot. Second of all, I play the electric guitar so I know what you are coming from. It's much better with my bilateral Baha than a single bone conduction hearing aid. I had the ones with the headband. You have nothing to be nervous about surgery. It's almost like a trip to the dentist office. You will not feel a thing because they numb the site very well. You will be "conformably numbed" for quite some time on the spot. Read more about me in my profile and blogs. Again, welcome to the community

November 04, 2010

Wow - Thank you both sooooo much for responding. I just went in and changed my privacy settings. I am excited and nervous still, but am really glad I found this site. Living in Wyoming it sometimes feels like noone has ever heard of things like "Cholesteatoma" or "Mastoid" it is really nice to find others like myself. One exciting aspect is that i checked with my insurance and it looks like surgery and BAHA will be covered as long as i get Doc's approval. I am anxious to get down to the Audio appt. on monday. I already told them I am bringing a guitar - so we'll see how it goes :) I think as long as I don't get weird vibes (no pun intended) I am going to schedule the surgery after monday. The BAHA just seems right for someone in my situation.
Jan Meyer

November 05, 2010

BAHAs are incredible. I got mine nine months after brain surgery for an acoustic neuroma left me SSD (single-sided deaf). The BAHA is one of THE best things I've ever done. In my opinion, you can't go wrong. Good luck! Jan

November 05, 2010

Hi! Welcome to the site. I'm glad you're exploring your options and getting as much information as you can. I was born with single sided deafness, and my type of hearing loss couldn't be helped at all with standard hearing aids. I wasn't a candidate for CI, either. I thought there was nothing that could be done until I discovered BAHA a couple years ago. I don't find that the BAHA distorts sound at all--my only issue is a little feedback on occasion, which my brain is learning to ignore. When I plug my "good" ear, though, the BAHA takes over and sounds amazing. I think you'll be really impressed with the sound quality when you're playing your guitar, but remember: you will be using a demo model that isn't programed to your exact needs, AND it will just be pressed against your head instead of IN your head, so actual results after surgery will most likely be much improved. I really can't wear hats anymore, but I didn't feel like that was a concern for me going in. If it is for you, I've heard that surgeons will let you bring in your favorite hat or bike helmet, and they will try to place the abutment so that you can still wear those. Mine, I think, seems to be up a little higher than others I've seen. I'm trying to figure out how to keep my ears warm this winter without having to take off my device. :) The biggest plus I've found is simply understanding conversation better, especially in crowded places. I don't think I could be much happier with my decision! Good luck to you!
SharonC -Edmondson Cochlear Volunteer- Ambassador

November 05, 2010

I am so glad that you have gotten all the answers above that you are looking for. I would be of no help as I have Cochlear Implants. But isn't this just the greatest community to get the right answers from the ones with your experiences. Will be looking forward to hearing more about your journey. ~SharonC~

November 05, 2010

This community is definitely amazing. It is almost like group therapy for all of the emotions I have been feeling! WY population is so small I have never actually met someone else with my condition so this is really a great outlet for me. Thanks to everyone for you support and information. So as a side question - For those that have been through the BAHA consult and then went forward with the implant, how much of a difference did you notice between wearing the headband and gettign teh actual implant? I am just worried about being disappointed with the trial and not having good enough info to decide on going forward......

November 05, 2010

Another welcome to you, from St. Louis! I wear hats all the time. My doc was able to place the implant a little lower than normal because I have I'm so thick-skulled. That used to be perjorative, when my parents/teachers used the phrase. I took sunglasses, and a bike helmet into surgery and he was able to work around. My equipment testing took place in three environments, with three different docs. I wasn't so sure I wanted anyone drilling holes in my head until I was sure it would work, hence, lots of "second opinions". I tested in the lobby of the medical complex, a noisy coffee shop, and the quiet dr's office. It worked each time. Though it is certainly not binaural hearing. I do really like the BAHA and know that I am beginning to rely on it. I did have a cros aid when I first became partially deaf. But I gave up wearing it after the labyrinthectomy. It was analog, and totally blocked up my hearing side, which I didn't like. That was quite a few years ago. Can't address the musical issue, can't play or sing a note. Wish I could contribute. Good luck, GRAMMYP
Paula M - Bilateral Recipient/Community Volunteer

November 06, 2010

I also wanted to say welcome! I am a CI recipient, so no Baha experience here. I just want to again suggest you take any hats with you...for example in Texas, we have a lot of Cowboy hat wearers and so I know many Baha surgeons who even ask about that before surgery... With reference to the difference between the headband and having the implant....there is a substantial gain with surgery, because of the direct bone conduction. With the softband, you have hair, skin, fat and tissue that the vibration must go through....I am sure that the Baha recipients can share their experience with the difference in the sound after implantation. Wishing you the best. Paula

November 08, 2010

I wore in ear hearing aids for 10 years and I'm getting bilateral baha's in 10 days!!! I'll let you know how it goes. I'm sure it's going to be amazing! :)

November 16, 2010

HI, I have been wearing a Baha for about 8 months now. I have SSD on the left side. I have been back and forth to the audiologist numerous times trying to get it set up right. I finally suggested simply setting everything to my target setting and that helped a lot. I have had to increase the volume above my target in order to make the sound equal to my other ear which I am deaf in low tones. I am disappointed in the fact that my case has cracked several times and the last time I found out that there was an upgrade to the BP100 but no one told me about it! I discovered it on my own-sent it in for the upgrade-came back without the upgrade-sent it back in again and this time they did the upgrade. The only way you can tell they did the upgrade is that the battery now has a plastic/rubber cover over it and it did not before. I am happy that I had the surgery. I am very active and worry about knocking the abutment loose from my skull...not sure what would happen if this happens. I do wear a Motorcycle helmet when I ride, but cannot wear the Baha with it. I have to work outside in the sun all day and I took a straw hat and cut out a hole in the side for my Baha100...unable to wear just a plain cap with it though.....cheers Rod
SpecialK, Network Volunteer

November 24, 2010

Hey, I wear my hat with my Bahas regularly. Just make sure your hat in adjsuted properly and you might consider the fish line if you wear the hat often. Going from wearing hearing aids since age four to getting Bahas at age 42 was quite a transition but it's the best decision I've ever made. Now that I have bilateral bahas, going to the theater or a rock concert is so much more exilerating because the sound quality is far better than BTEs! Because I can hear myself more clearly with the bahas, adjusting my voice tones while singing with the church choir is wonderful! I no longer bother family members having the stereo volume turned up so high. Don't worry about a post or abutment on your head; you can eventually cover it with longer hair......but why bother. It's better to HEAR everything in this world or just take them off!

December 03, 2010

I'm glad I found this community. I have ssd on the left side. The cross over aids I have pickup espn station so good I have to turn them off. I'm going in the the 7th of Dec. for the post. Im a construcion iron worker and have to wear a hard hat. im going to take it with me to the surgery so they can see where it fits my head. I've been going nuts about this and your comment have put me at ease as to go threw with this or not. Thank You for your comments and support. I think i'll be happy with my BaHa. dave

December 03, 2010

I've had my BAHA for 10 months now, and had my operation 14 months ago. Recently I tested out the difference between wearing my BAHA on my abutment (the real thing) and putting it on the little rod that you get that allows you to give others the experience of hearing through their bone. The hearing through my abutment was TONS better than the rod set up, which would be similar to wearing the headband. I don't think my BAHA helps me out in noisy situations in particular, but it does help me in quieter situations. I really like it, and wish more strangers would ask me about it! :-)

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