Healthwatch: Baha Helping Patients Hear

A little device called Baha is having a huge impact on hearing. On the market for almost six years, it is steadily growing in demand and doctors say with good reason.

Dr. James Benson, an otolaryngologist with Rush Health Systems, says more and more of his patients are using a Baha.

"It really is nice. It gives us the ability to help patients with hearing loss that normally we haven't been able to help before," Benson said.

According to Dr. Benson, the best candidates for a Baha are people who have profound hearing loss in just one ear, or those who do not do well with traditional hearing aids. He says getting a Baha requires a simple outpatient surgery.

"Where you make a small incision behind the ear and place a small titanium screw that cuts like a snap," said Benson. "The electronic device snaps behind the ear and takes the sound that comes in on that wall inside and transmits it through the bone to the opposite ear, which is the normal or good ear."

Benson says the device restores the patient's ability to determine which direction a sound is coming from. This is something he says is very important, especially when at a railroad crossing or while trying to cross a busy street.

Hearing aids and hearing devices are not like glasses. Unlike them, they cannot completely restore the sense that has been lost but instead, make it much better.

"It's a lot better. Unfortunately, we can't restore the hearing that God gave us but with the electronic device and surgery, we can get a lot of the lost aspects of sound back," Benson said.

For more information on the Baha call Rush Medical Group at (601) 703-9595.

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