Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid

Discover how it works and whether you might be a candidate
Last update on May, 28, 2024

Explore bone-anchored hearing aids and who can benefit from this device

A bone-anchored hearing aid (aka BAHA) is a surgically implanted device designed to help individuals with certain types of hearing loss. They consist of three parts: a small titanium implant (approximately 3 to 4 millimeters in diameter), an external connector, and a sound processor.

Bone-anchored hearing aid manufacturers like Cochlear® offer an alternative version where a magnetic device is embedded under the skin and muscle of the skull, which then connects to the external sound processor and allows sound to be transmitted directly to the inner ear.

Unlike traditional hearing aids, which amplify sound and direct it into the ear canal, bone-anchored hearing aids bypass the outer and middle ear entirely, sending sounds directly to the cochlea.

In this article, we'll explore how a bone-anchored hearing aid works, its pros and cons, and who can benefit from this device.  

BAHA Hearing Aid: How Does It Work?

During a surgical procedure where you'll be under anesthesia, a small incision is made behind your ear to create a small hole. A small titanium implant is then placed in the skull bone behind the ear. Next, the connector is placed onto the implant, and your skin will heal around it. A round titanium post will protrude from your skull, allowing the processor to be attached.

Over time, the implant integrates with the surrounding bone in a process called osseointegration. Once the implant has fully healed and integrated with the bone, the external sound processor can be attached.

The sound processor picks up sounds and converts them into vibrations, which are then transmitted through the skull bone to the cochlea (a spiral-shaped, fluid-filled structure located in the inner ear that plays a crucial role in converting sound vibrations into electrical signals that can be interpreted by the brain).

The direct stimulation of the inner ear bypasses any issues with the outer or middle ear, allowing individuals with certain types of hearing loss to perceive sounds more clearly.

Surgical vs. Non-Surgical Bone Anchored Hearing Aid

There are two types of bone-anchored hearing aids, one of which does not require surgery.

A bone conduction hearing aid (BCHA) is recommended for young children (under 5) and patients who prefer not to have surgery. Instead of being attached to the skull bone, a BCHA is attached directly to the skin with an adhesive or using a headband. 

Who Can Benefit from a BAHA Hearing Aid?

Bone-anchored hearing aids are designed for patients with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss or single-sided deafness.

  • Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound cannot pass freely through the outer or middle ear.
  • Mixed hearing loss involves a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
  • Single-sided deafness refers to significant hearing loss in one ear, with normal or near-normal hearing in the other.

Other conditions that may benefit from a BAHA implant include:

  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Vestibular schwannomas

Malformation of the ear canal or middle ear or other structural issues, such as damage to the ear's tympanic membrane (i.e., ear drum) and ossicles, may also require surgical intervention, such as bone-anchored hearing aids, as an alternative to traditional hearing aids.

To determine whether you're a candidate for this device, your hearing care provider will first evaluate certain factors, including your age, medical history, type of hearing loss, and personal preferences.

Need to check your benefits or schedule an appointment with a local hearing care provider? Amplifon can help with both!

Is a Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid Worth It?

Traditional hearing aids may not be sufficient if you have conductive or mixed hearing loss or single-sided deafness. Therefore, a BAHA hearing aid may benefit you.

To help you decide, let's review a few of its advantages and disadvantages.


  • You won't be required to put a device inside your ear canal, which minimizes issues related to occlusion (i.e., the feeling of a blocked ear) that some experience with traditional hearing aids.
  • It can provide improved sound localization for single-sided deafness.
  • You may have the option of surgical BAHA or non-surgical BCHA (i.e., bone conduction hearing aid).


  • A surgical procedure is required for BAHA implant placement.
  • The cost may be higher than traditional hearing aids.
  • Risk of infection or implant failure if your bone doesn't correctly fuse to the implant.

Choosing the Right Hearing Aid

Meeting with a hearing care provider is the first step in finding the best hearing aid for your needs. A professional can assess your hearing requirements, lifestyle, and budget to determine the most suitable hearing aid.

Unlike purchasing a hearing aid online or at a store, a personalized consultation with a hearing care provider ensures that the chosen device is tailored to your needs, improving overall satisfaction and effectiveness.

Amplifon's network providers utilize a patient-centered approach to hearing health care. Instead of fitting you to the hearing aid, they work diligently to ensure it fits you. This involves comprehensive assessments, personalized fittings, and ongoing support to guarantee that the chosen hearing aid is optimized for your absolute comfort and hearing requirements.

Our network providers strive to deliver a truly customized and effective hearing solution by prioritizing your needs and preferences.

Woman getting a hearing test

Know Your Coverage Options?

The first step in your hearing health journey is checking your benefits. Although Amplifon Hearing Health Care does not currently provide coverage for BAHA surgery or the Bone Anchored Hearing Aid processor, we can help you understand the services and products you do have coverage for, allowing you to work with a quality, local provider to find the right treatment plan for your budget and needs.

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