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A conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem with the one or more of the parts of the ear that conduct sound into the inner ear.
There are many potential causes of conductive hearing loss, with some causes being easier to treat than others.
If you have any questions about conductive hearing loss or hearing loss in general, please contact one of our locations to speak with an audiologist. It is a commonly accepted fact that we are living in an increasingly noisy world and damage to hearing due to over exposure to noise is becoming more and more commonplace. Teens and young adults love listening to music at a loud volume but little do they know they’re doing severe damage to their hearing.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, “Audiology experts agree that hearing loss is increasing in the United States.
Audiologists have researched that abusing the use of iPods and stereo systems particularly in young people can lead to serious loss of hearing. Research has shown that a third of the population by the age of 65 will deal with some sort of hearing problems. When students at Cabrini College were asked where and how loudly they listen to their iPod, most of them said when they are working out at the gym and loud enough that it drowns out noises that they do not want to hear. The problem of hearing loss in teens leads back to the earphones and the type of earphones. Even after teens are continuously listening over time, it will still cause severe problems.
While blasting your music over time, you will have to listen to things around you at a louder volume than normal.
Cabrini Student Media Mission StatementCabrini Student Media is a collaboration of student media organizations. The Loquitur and other student media sites are also a forum for public expression for students, staff, faculty, alumni and others in the Cabrini community. As a forum, Loquitur strives to provide an opportunity for all members of the college to inquire, question, and exchange ideas. Loquitur and other student media enjoy the freedom of expression accorded the communications media and citizens of this country and strive to exercise this freedom responsibiy. The purpose of this review is to provide feedback regarding the functionality of three differently manufactured bone anchored hearing aids (BAHA). Note: My observations include having myself wear all three soft band head band BAHAs in order to experience hearing what my daughter is hearing as she is incapable of telling me herself due to being only two years of age.
I noticed that Alyssa seemed to favor both the Oticon Medical and Sophono soft band head bands over the Cochlear soft band head band and kept these BAHAs on for longer periods of time. The Cochlear processor can be turned off and on manually at the touch of a button where as both the Oticon Medical and Sophono processors have to have the battery inserted in order to turn the processor on and remove the battery in order to turn the processors off. As Alyssa’s mother, I have listened through and worn all three processors myself on my head with the soft band head band. I wore all three processors out to restaurants and to loud places such as malls and public restrooms and I was amazed at what I could hear through them. During the period of time that Alyssa has worn her BAHA(s), she has managed to get them wet and get some food in them.
When I had learned that my daughter had Atresia and was missing her ear canal, I began wondering how much she could hear in her right ear. When all the sounds necessary for speech were initially graphed and a line was drawn around them, the shape looked like a banana.
The audiogram below contains drawings depicting typical sounds and where they fall on the audiogram.
Some parents will believe their child does not require a BAHA and can hear just fine without one.
I do schedule quarterly hearing aid evaluations for Alyssa in order to keep an eye on her hearing loss and to monitor any ear infections. Note: In both aided hearing evaluations, new batteries were used in the BAHA processors tested. Additional Note: Cochlear launched its newly designed BAHA 3 Power (BP110) processor on July 15, 2011.
Statement to the bone anchored hearing aid device manufacturers mentioned in this review: This review was not intended to criticize individual technology or pit any of the above mentioned BAHA models and its developers against one another. This site is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. If you are interested in getting a baseline hearing test or learning about your hearing loss, contact Hearing, Speech & Deaf Center today to schedule a comprehensive hearing test. Since getting my hearing aids, I find a great satisfaction in going out for coffee with my friends, listening to music and watching TV has become pleasurable, when I am not going to concerts or the Japanese garden to hear the babbling brooks and birds singing. Deep pitch sounds like lawnmowers and big dogs are indicated on the left side of the graph and high pitch sounds like telephone rings and fans are indicated on the right side of the graph. Quieter sounds like whispers and birds are higher up on the graph and louder sounds like construction equipment are toward the bottom. Mixed Hearing Loss is the presence of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss in the same individual. Retro-Cochlear Hearing Loss is a sensorineural hearing loss, particularly in one ear, where the problem lies beyond the inner ear, perhaps even in the brain stem.
Individuals whose hearing loss is treated show significant improvements in the quality of their lives.
The ear canal, ear drum, and the tiny bones in the middle ear make up the conductive system and any hearing loss caused by a problem in one or more of these areas is called a conductive hearing loss.
Malformation of the outer or middle ear structures, a middle ear infection in which fluid accumulates behind the eardrum, abnormal bone growth in the middle ear, a hole in the eardrum, or poor Eustachian tube function may be responsible for conductive hearing loss.
Antibiotics or antifungal medications are usually prescribed for ear infections, whereas surgery is usually an option for malformed or abnormal outer or middle ear structures and other physical problems. This is where the hearing has become damaged as a result of hair cell damage in the nerve (known as the Cochlea) often caused by general wear and tear. This happens when a problem occurs with either the ear drum, such as a perforation, or difficulty with the area between the ear drum and the nerve (known as the middle ear) such as pressure build up, Glue Ear or similar. According to widely cited figures from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the number of Americans ages 3 and older with some form of auditory disorder has more than doubled since 1971, from 13.2 million to about 30 million today.
These cells are responsible for converting sound waves into electrical impulses, which are then sent to the brain.
Even though most hearing problems are blamed on iPods, there are other environmental noises that can contribute to this problem. Fligor, director of diagnostic audiology at the Children’s Hospital in Boston, depending on the type of earphones, listeners could get a sound dose as high as 120 decibels. The decibels are different from that of a soft piano,” Heather Fullerton, Cabrini College communication center coordinator, said. I do not think that it is affecting my hearing right now but I think later on in life it will affect it,” Monica Souders, senior biology major, said.
Earphones are being placed closer and closer in the ear and are directly being pumped right into the ear canal. Audiologists have recommended to children to use the older style headphones that rest right over the ear opening. Your ears will become accustom to hearing noises around you louder than they did before, resulting in loss of hearing. You get used to listening to it loudly that you need to have other things around you at a higher volume,” Lauren Chieffo, senior marketing and international business major, said. Together, we strive to produce relevant, compelling and informative content for our audience. Originally aided by the Cochlear Intenso BAHA (Bone Anchored Hearing Aid) on a soft band head band in August of 2010.
When looking closely at the three soft bands I noticed that both the Otcion Medical and Sophono soft bands were softer or smoother in texture and a bit wider. As infants and toddlers tend to roll over, lay down more often, reach for objects, and put them in their mouth, it is more likely that an older aged child or adult would be able to wear the BAHAs with much more ease. I have also listened to the Cochlear and Oticon Medical processors with their tester pieces.
For example, when dining out at restaurants and wearing the Oticon Medical and Cochlear processors set to the multi-directional microphone mode, I thought I was hearing peoples thoughts.
I have tried a safety line with each processor and at Alyssa’s age, the safety line actually caught her attention most of the time and lured her in to where she would grab for it. Most of the time, I do not allow Ally to wear any of the three BAHAs during meal time out of fear that she would get food in them.
The most typical frequency and decibel for each speech sound has been graphed on an audiogram to provide information about what sounds can be heard at specific degrees of hearing loss.

Jet planes, for instance, are loud, high decibel, high frequency, sounds while wind rustling leaves is a much lower decibel sound.
In most of Alyssa’s evaluations, we also check to see how well she is hearing while being aided with her BAHA. The option for a BAHA should always be presented to a patient having a conductive hearing loss. I am a mother of two biological daughters who are some of the happiest little girls on earth. Through this site and linkages to other sites, we provide general information for educational purposes only.
HSDC serves the Western Washington area through offices in Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellingham. Hearing is not measured in percentages, but in an arbitrary unit of loudness called a decibel (dB). It affects lower frequencies and makes it difficult to hear vowel sounds and interpret the slight differences among them. Noise exposure, diseases, certain medications, and aging can destroy parts of the inner ear and cause permanent hearing loss.
Studies have shown that individuals with hearing loss who do not acknowledge it and treat it with assistive technology or other communication strategies are prone to isolation, reduced social activity, increases in worry and anxiety levels, sadness, and depression.
Communication is a key part of maintaining healthy relationships, and stressful or unsuccessful communication can result in a person with hearing loss withdrawing socially. With hearing aids, they enjoy improvements in the relationships at home and work, with children and grandchildren, and in their confidence, independence, and life outlook. Unlike a sensorineural hearing loss a conductive hearing loss occurs because the sound entering the ear is reduced or dampened by the obstruction; there is no damage to the delicate nerves in the inner ear.
Rarely, there may be more serious causes of conductive hearing loss and these conditions, if left unidentified and untreated, may have profound medical consequences.
Hearing aids are often the best answer when surgery is not possible, because they significantly improve hearing and are convenient.
Typically, this type of hearing loss is apparent with 1 in 4 adults as we get older and will tend to effect high frequency sounds such as beginning and endings of words, female and children’s speech and certain types of music.
With this type of loss, the nerve is working correctly but there is a problem with the sound getting to it. This type of hearing loss is certainly more rare and can sometimes require further investigation. Loss of hearing has increased drastically within the years due to the pounding music coming from ear buds that are placed directly in your ear canal.
Once 25 to 30 percent of these cells disappear, you begin to experience hearing loss,” Lansbury-Martin, ASHA’s director of research and science, said. This will lead to hearing aids at a much younger age than they have ever been relied on before. Loss of hearing is likely a conductive hearing loss with the absence of an ear canal and a functional cochlea. I heard every single sound from dishes clanking to utensils tinging and everyone’s conversations including the air condition and drink sippers. I often found Alyssa pulling on the safety lines and then taking the entire head band off along with the processors. However, during 11 months to almost 18 months of age, Ally was teething and when she did pull her processors off, they went directly into her mouth. I didn’t think that was so bad until I came a cross a bone conduction simulation video on line where you can see for yourself what it is like to hear at a moderate to severe hearing loss. A child that can hear the sounds of speech will have a much easier time imitating, understanding and learning spoken language.
A child may be able to hear certain low frequency sounds such as [m] but not hear higher frequency sounds such as [s] and [sh] even with the use of hearing aids. Although every child is different and may react differently to a BAHA, I will tell you what I have observed with my daughter, Alyssa, when wearing her BAHAs. Just know your options and know that a BAHA is an option that can help your child hear better when considered. Below are two of Alyssa’s evaluation reports that show how she is benefiting from wearing a BAHA.
Although the BP110 is a bone conduction technology processor, it is also designed to meet the needs for individuals with substantial mixed hearing loss with sensory-neural loss.
It has a nice tactile feel as you can feel it pulse against your finger to let you know that the processor has been muted or reactivated. I purposely decided not to rank which processor I believe to be the best on the market as each individual user is different and requires different needs from these processors.
Although the choice to aid a child should be presented, the decision should be left up to the parents.
The information provided in this site, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. If the sound is loud enough, a person with this type of hearing loss can hear and understand clearly, making them a good candidate for hearing aids.
If a sound is loud enough, a person with inner ear damage may hear something, however it may be distorted. Families should be aware of the potential consequences of untreated hearing loss, as well as the benefits of hearing aids and other options.
They are more involved socially and in their communities, and report feeling greater security and positive mental health. A conductive hearing loss can often be partially or completely reversed with medical intervention. Though usually not necessary, implantable hearing devices such as a bone-anchored hearing aid are an excellent alternative if neither surgery nor a traditional hearing aid are feasible options. It is important to remember, whatever the results of your hearing test show, we are usually able to help people regain the hearing they have not been enjoying, often for many years.
Microtia and Atresia is the result of a congenital deformity presented at Alyssa’s birth. At ten months of age, after having Alyssa evaluated by therapists from our state Early Intervention program “Imagine”, it was determined that Alyssa was delayed in her speech and communication skills. The Cochlear battery door (back panel) is easier to remove than to put back on, but without the included magnetic wand to help remove the battery, it becomes very difficult to get the battery out. Although I am not hearing impaired, but was able to hear what Alyssa is most-likely hearing, I thought the technology was ever so slightly tinny…as if one were speaking through a tin can. When wearing the Sophono (on its single-directional microphone mode), I soon realized how much of the background noise was filtered out from the noisy environment. Although the safety lines give a sense of “security” knowing that they are still connecting the processor to the band, the safety lines did not work very well for us. If they are able to hear sounds within the speech banana when they are aided with hearing aids, there is a better chance they will understand that sound and be able to reproduce it in their speech.
The following two evaluation reports will show you how Alyssa’s moderate to severe hearing loss measures within a normal dB range when being aided with a BAHA.
All BAHAs on the market today offer excellent technology for aiding in hearing loss and are amazingly clear in sound. Sensorineural hearing loss is characterized by a lower tolerance for loud sounds, and has the greatest affect on high frequencies. I believe her skull was still very soft and this may be the reason for the marks as the BAHA fit nicely around her head and not too tightly. The Sophono clip also lies very flat against the skull whereas the Cochlear clip is thicker and a bit bulkier and does not lie quite as flat to the skull. Originally, I favored the idea of indicator lights on the Cochlear processor (amber LED for right ear fitting and blue LED indicating that the processor is off). However, at the same time I thought the Oticon Medical sounded very very clear with the Sophono and Cochlear following close behind. To briefly explain, the multi-directional mode microphones can help you or your child hear surround sounds (or in stereo) because of the three positioned microphones on the processor, one that is located behind their ear, one directly beside the ear, and one in front of the ear.
Both the Oticon Medical and the Sophono processors were wet to the point of saliva penetrating the battery door. As a child develops and grows older, the brain learns how to compensate for the hearing loss helping that child function within their environment as best as possible. When the battery was depleted once, I noticed when I tried to power the processor back on there were a series of four different tones that sounded. It is important to try a few different manufactured BAHAs or at least a few models before purchasing a BAHA.
There is no genetic evidence of Microtia or Atresia on either side of the parental blood line as far back as researched in my family.

Many hard of hearing individuals who don’t wear hearing aids believe they don’t need them or can get by without them.
As of seventeen months of age, Alyssa began leaving her BAHA on more and tugged at it less often.
I originally favored the adjustable buckle soft bands that both Oticon Medical and Sophono have, but over time I have gotten use to all three including the Velcro adjustable band from Cochlear. I feel just as safe with a processor that snaps snugly into the abutment clip on the band when compared to being attached to the safety line.
On the first day when Alyssa received her BAHA, there were tears of joy from both our audiologist and myself. As a result, many children and adults with Micotia and Atresia have learned how to get by in life just fine if they have a single sided hearing loss. In addition, observing how well a child with a hearing loss in the moderate to severe dB range can improve to within normal range of hearing when being aided by a BAHA. Sometimes, one BAHA model may be much easier to use, sound better, or offer advanced options that are better suited for an individual’s lifestyle when compared to another BAHA model. Prior to wearing a BAHA, Alyssa would rarely raise her head and respond to anyone who spoke to her or tried calling her (regardless of her normal range hearing left ear).
Also, when removing the BAHA she would sometimes cry as if she would still like to have it on. Even when trying to replace the battery, the “amber” indicator light would not turn off preventing me from shutting the processor fully down in order to change the battery. All three processors sounded fantastic and I was amazed at how well and clean and crisp I could hear sounds in the environment. By switching to the single-directional microphone mode, the processors allow you to filter out the background noise from a head of you and from behind you to where your sound is now focused right beside your ear. Of course, if a child is in school playing, it would be nice to have the safety line on so the processor does not get lost. I am guessing this may be because of the Gortex rubber flap that lines the battery door on the Cochlear processor. Most importantly, it was my primary focus to help educate families with small children about the BAHA and help update them on the how important it is to know about your child’s hearing loss and how it may affect them. If a BAHA is going to become part of your life and act as an ear(s) for hearing, then make sure it is fits comfortably and you understand how to get the most out of it so you can get on with your life as care free as possible.
I hold a Bachelors Degree in Biology and Psychology (emphasizing on pre-med) from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Alyssa soon began making sounds again and cooing and babbling after being fitted with a BAHA. Alyssa will now leave the BAHA on anywhere from one hour to over four hours during one days time when compared to keeping the BAHA on for only minutes to a max of one hour previously. This made me worry that it was not working properly or that I would cause a change to the programming. Both the Cochlear and Oticon processors were set to the multi-directional microphone modes where as the Sophono processor was set to the single mode microphone (only offers single mode).
Regardless, each time I did remove the battery and carefully inspect the processors and put them in our “hearing aid saver” container. I honestly believe the earlier a child can wear a BAHA will help them to hear better in general. Aside from infants and young children, it is important to understand the programming features and how to get the most out of your BAHA as an adult in your environment.
Even Alyssa’s therapists from our state Early Intervention program noticed that it appeared as if Alyssa had a light switch turned on and that she had become engaged with her environment.
In fact, I was disappointed at how easily the Oticon Medical processor can be removed from the soft band clip.
Quickly, I realized how simple it was to use both the Oticon Medical and Sophono processors because I did not have to worry about any indicator lights (although they can be disabled) or touching the wrong buttons in the wrong sequence.
When listening through both the Cochlear and Oticon Medical processors I could hear sound all around. Honestly, when I had the Oticon Medical and Cochlear processors on in public restaurants and at malls, I heard everyone’s conversations from the tables around me and walking past me, but had difficulty hearing my husband talking to me directly in front of me or just beside me. Although she tried to pull the BAHA off and reach for it to see what it was, she had become a different baby in just one appointment. Sure, you can always try a BAHA, at any age, but sometimes this may make it a little more difficult to adjust to because you have already been hearing your environment a certain way for years. Ask your audiologist to help you learn how to operate your BAHA and how to help it learn to be as smart as it can for automatic changes when responding to your environment. For the past three and one half years, I have had the priviIege of staying at home with my daughters. After the age of twelve months, Alyssa began reacting more to her environment by showing facial gestures and looking for sounds when she heard them on occasion.
I found it easy to adjust the volume on all three processors, but favored the rotary dials on the Oticon and Sophono processors over the button switches on the Cochlear processor. When hearing through the single-directional mode, I maybe heard some conversation from one table behind me or others near me, but I was able to hear every single word my husband said without having to strain. A couple of times, Alyssa’s saliva hardened and I could see the “white” residue in the microphone holes.
Again, a BAHA is a wonderful option that should be presented to patients with a conductive hearing loss so that they are given this option. Most of all, please educate yourself as much as possible about the loss of hearing in general. Since then, Oticon Medical has launched a new soft band head band that I have also used with Ally’s Ponto Pro processor. When I would present a sound for Alyssa I would witness her looking for it and she would try to look for it. So, I now understand how important it is to know how to operate the processor and be able to understand how the different microphone mode settings can help within the environment. I just waited until it was hard and then very carefully flicked out the pieces with a toothpick without damaging the microphone. Alyssa had become engaged and began showing excitement looking for sounds when before she often wouldn’t lift her head when spoken to (despite having normal hearing in her left ear). Without wearing any of the BAHAs, she is non-responsive often times or simply can not find where the sound is coming from.
Many of the processors on the market are termed “smart” because over time, they learn to adjust automatically in loud environments to quieter settings and visa versa. Since Alyssa is in the stage of touching everything while she eats, I just choose to not have her BAHAs on her during meal time.
Regardless of what others may experience, I saw a difference and that is all I needed as Alyssa’s mom and to realize that I had found an option that could help her. My most important job is being the best mommy and parent advocate that I can for my daughters.
The sound quality of the Sophono processor is very clear, although when moving away from a sound the sound would become less evident due to the single mode directional microphone.
For an infant or say a young child under the age of four, these wonderful options will most-likely go unused and unnoticed. The new Oticon Medical band looks almost identical, except that the connection is reinforced on the underside with a cross structure to keep the “abutment” from compressing and thus losing the connection resistance. I was relieved to be able to experience and understand what a difference it makes to be able to hear through different settings in different environments.
I also realize how loud sounds can really “hurt” someone who is wearing a BAHA or hearing aid in general.
Cochlear has also redesigned a new soft band head band that should launch during Fall of 2011.
We have not yet had to send a processor back due to experiencing any problems with functional issues. Cochlear’s newly designed soft band head band has a thinner styled clip for the abutment to attach to and the soft band is now wider and made of a softer textured material. I also wore Alyssa’s BAHAs around the house listening to water running in the faucet near and far and listening to my husband talk or the TV as I walked in and out of rooms.

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