Quim was born with atresia/microtia, but early treatment with Baha® solutions meant he could hear.
Quim was born without both external ear canals – a condition known as bilateral atresia. Like many children with atresia, Quim also had microtia, an outer ear malformation which in Quim’s case meant his ears had failed to develop altogether. As a result, Quim had conductive hearing loss that could have severely impeded his development. Quim’s mother Montse explained why the family wasted no time in treating Quim’s hearing loss.
“We did not want Quim to lose his language learning. Hearing is so important that we wanted to have the surgery as soon as possible,” she said.
Baha® solutions work well for children with atresia/microtia 1-2, because they bypass problems in the outer or middle ear and send sound directly to the functioning inner ear. Baha devices can also be implemented early in life, giving children like Quim the best chance of learning to speak, read, write and communicate on par with their hearing peers.
Quim’s treatment began with a Baha Softband - an adjustable, elasticated band designed for infants and very young children before they’re old enough for an implant.
“When Quim first used Baha Softband he started crying. He was seven months old and I don’t think he recognised my voice,” she said.
Quim was implanted with a Baha device in right ear the following year, and in his left ear the year after that. Like many children with atresia/microtia, Quim’s mother said he has benefited from the flexibility of the Baha System. With devices on both side, Montse feels Quim “listens much better and I am sure that it is helping a lot in school.”
Today Montse describes Quim as “a normal boy with a normal life” who “transmits his happiness to everyone”. He’s a keen football player who loves the sound of cheering for his favourite football team, Barcelona FC. Quim uses the Baha audio adapter to listen to football matches on the radio, as well as his favourite music.
“Quim would not be the same without his Baha devices He would lose a lot of information,” Montse said.
Asked what she would say to other parents considering a Baha implant for their child, her answer was simple.
“Yes, yes, yes.”
- Kunst SJ, Hol MK, Mylanus EA, Leijendeckers JM, Snik AF, Cremers CW. Subjective benefit after Baha system application in patients with congenital unilateral conductive hearing impairment. Otol Neurotol. 2008 Apr;29(3):353-58.
- Saliba I, Woods O, Caron C. Baha results in children at one year follow-up: a prospective longitudinal study. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2010 Sep;74(9):1058-62.
Note: In the United States and Canada, the placement of a bone-anchored implant is contraindicated in children below the age of 5.