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Hear the Other Side

The Cochlear Baha® System for Single-Sided Deafness

Single-sided deafness can make everyday activities more difficult. Business meetings, crossing the street, driving a car and enjoying a meal in a busy restaurant can be hard work and very stressful.

Creative coping mechanisms become a regular occurrence – sitting on a certain side of the table or room, telling people to speak into your ‘good ear,’ avoiding busy restaurants or family gatherings and asking your colleagues to constantly repeat themselves while at the office or in meetings.

It can be exhausting.

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Understanding Single-Sided Deafness

Single-sided deafness (SSD) occurs when you have little to no hearing in one ear and normal hearing in the other. It can happen at birth, suddenly or gradually over time.

Some of the most common causes of SSD include:

  • Acoustic Neuroma—due to the surgical removal of benign tumor(s) developing on the nerve that connects the ear to the brain
  • Sudden Hearing Loss—due to viral infections; Ménière's disease; adverse reaction to medications; head or ear injuries; and many other unknown reasons
  • Malformation at birth

Ears are a Team

Hearing with two ears (called binaural hearing) provides clear advantages.

Hearing and actively engaging in life is easier when using both ears. Your ears work together to allow you to identify sounds both near and far, as well as those that occur 360 degrees around your head.1 With two ears, you can better understand speech and hear more clearly. You can also better determine where a sound is coming from and hear better in noise.

If one ear is taken out of the equation, it may become difficult to:

Sounds that originate from your bad side will fall in the shadow of your head, so when they finally reach your good ear, it may be more difficult to hear and understand them clearly, especially in noisy environments.1 This is especially true for higher-frequency sounds. Because they have shorter wavelengths, it is easier for them to be reflected by the head2, hence the term head shadow effect.

Head Shadow Effect Diagram

Because consonants are higher-frequency sounds that contain much of the meaning of speech, the head-shadow effect makes it difficult for people with SSD to understand speech in the presence of background noise.2

A limited ability to discern the direction of sound is more than inconvenient – it can be dangerous. Crossing a busy street, driving through traffic or not knowing where your child is when they call your name at the playground may be very unsettling.

The Cochlear Baha® System

The Cochlear Baha System is an implantable hearing solution that works by picking up sounds on your deaf side, converting them into sound vibrations and transferring them to your good, working ear via the skull bone.

There are three components to every Baha System – a sound processor, an abutment or magnetic attachment, and the implant. These parts work together so you can receive sound from both sides of your head.

See How the Baha System Works
The Cochlear Baha System

The Baha System helps provide 360-degree awareness,
improving speech understanding in noise.3

How the Baha System is different from …

  • The Baha System is a discreet solution worn on one side, while CROS hearing aids require users to wear devices on both ears.
  • The Baha System is an implantable hearing solution designed to use your body’s natural ability to conduct sound through bone conduction.
  • CROS hearing aids are conventional air conduction hearing aids placed behind, or inside, each ear.
  • The Baha System bypasses the outer and middle ear and sends clearer, more crisp sound directly to your inner ear.4
  • CROS hearing aids work by picking up sound on your ‘bad side’ and transmitting it via a hard wire or a wireless signal to your normal hearing ear.
  • Studies show that the Baha System provides better speech understanding in noise than CROS hearing aids.5
  • The Baha System and bone conduction hearing aids work on the exact same principle—they transfer sound from your ‘bad side’ to your normal hearing ear via the bones in your head.
  • The Baha System does not require anything be placed on or in your ear. It can even be hidden under your hair so it can’t be seen at all.
  • Bone conduction hearing aids use a behind-the-ear processor connected to a bone vibrator that is held tightly to the skull. For some, this set-up may be cumbersome and can even cause discomfort.
  • The Baha Implant allows for a direct bone-conduction pathway and is a very stable, long-term, flexible solution.6, 7

Learn More About the
Benefits of the Baha System

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With the Baha System, you have the unique advantage of hearing the difference first. A Hearing Implant Specialist can help you try a Baha Sound Processor risk-free so you can hear how it might sound before you make any decisions.

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You are not alone. In fact, each year approximately 60,000 Americans find themselves exactly where you are right now.8 We hear so many stories from people who struggle with hearing loss in one ear. Luckily, we’ve also heard stories from those who overcame it.

Aaron B., Sudden Hearing Loss

When Aaron lost his hearing in his right ear overnight, he lost his connection to one of his most favorite things in the world — nature. “It was totally overwhelming. It really changed my personality. It made me draw back from even the people I was closest to. I knew there had to be something better, something different. After talking to my audiologist, we both felt [The Baha 5 SuperPower] was exactly what I needed. I love having 360 degrees of sound again. It sounds full. It sounds normal. It’s just amazing. It’s incredible. I can go outside for an hour and smell the trees and hear all the sounds. The Baha 5 [SuperPower] allows me to have my full life back.”

Debra B., Gradual Hearing Loss From Tumor

When Debra was diagnosed with a cholesteatoma, she knew it wasn’t good. After all, she had a very invasive and very destructive tumor in her right ear. “I went from being able to partially hear in my right ear to being totally deaf in my right ear. I missed out so much on conversations even when they were right in front of me. The Baha System has been life-changing for me. For the first time in my life, I can hear in stereo. I can hear on both sides, and I can hear people talking to me even if there is noise in the background. I am looking forward to richer relationships — richer interactions with friends and family. And now, I’m excited because I don’t have to miss out on anything anymore.”