A Baha® implant helped Chloe overcome the hearing loss she suffered from chronic otitis media.
Chloe was always a drama queen, but it wasn’t until she got a Baha® implant at age ten that she could really pursue her love of acting. Chloe was born with Down syndrome, and the associated hearing loss impacted her speech perception, language acquisition and social interaction. Her hearing began to worsen around the age of three and hearing aids had proved little help. In fact Chloe’s mother said she was often trying to hide her hearing aids around the house!
Like many children with Down syndrome, Chloe’s hearing problems stemmed from chronic ear infections (otitis media) due to excess fluid build-up in narrower-than-normal ear canals. Over the years she had five lots of grommets - tubes inserted into the eardrum to improve airflow, relieve pressure and clear excess fluid. But at the fifth fitting, Chloe’s consultant realised the canals in Chloe’s ears had collapsed, making further grommets impossible.
Chloe’s consultant advised Chloe’s mother, Jane, that a Baha device was an option for Chloe. Jane went away to consider the decision, helped by reading material and a DVD.
“My biggest worry was putting Chloe under anaesthetic, but I now know that the small operation was nothing compared to the outcome for Chloe and what it means for her life,” Jane said.
“I have to admit that I didn’t really have very high hopes for Chloe’s hearing so I was totally amazed after switch on when she asked me to turn the music down in the car on the way home. I then had to turn the TV down at home too. Our lives are no longer based on shouting instructions and lip reading. I can call Chloe from another room now and she’ll hear me and we can have real conversations which is so lovely.”
The benefits that a Baha device has brought to Chloe’s life don’t stop there. After her implant, Chloe’s Mum said she was able to take on the lead role of Nancy in her Downs drama group production of Oliver. Her schoolwork is improving and she finds socialising with groups of friends easier. Her speech therapist also said she’s noticed a huge difference.
“I can’t begin to explain what a difference Chloe’s Baha System has made to her life and to all our lives really. I just wish she’d been given one earlier but we’re enjoying it now. It’s not just Chloe’s hearing that has improved so much, but her speech has really come on and she’s already progressed from saying single words to short sentences,” Jane said
“Both her confidence and sense of fun has really increased. I just want her to be happy in life and do what she enjoys. Who knows, maybe she’ll be able to fulfil her dream one day of being on a big stage.”
Note: In the United States and Canada, the placement of a bone-anchored implant is contraindicated in children below the age of 5.