Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH), a manufacturer of implantable hearing solutions, announced the commercial availability of the new CochlearTM Baha® SoundArc in the United States and Canada. The Baha SoundArc was designed to provide children with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss, or single-sided sensorineural deafness (SSD) with the hearing performance and amplification they need to facilitate language development on par with their hearing peers.1
“We are happy to be adding to our broad portfolio of hearing options for children with the introduction of the Baha SoundArc,” said Tony Manna, president, Cochlear Americas. “Because each child’s hearing need is unique and may change over time, we are proud to be providing innovative and technologically advanced hearing solutions to fit a child’s lifestyle across the stages of their life.”
The new Baha SoundArc is a non-surgical, behind-the-head band that is an alternative to the Baha®Softband (released in 2002). The non-surgical wearing options are part of Cochlear’s bone conduction implant system, the CochlearTM Baha® System. The Baha System is designed to utilize the body’s ability to conduct sound, to skip over the damaged parts of the outer and middle ear, and send clear, crisp sound directly to a working inner ear (the cochlea).2
The Baha SoundArc and the Baha Softband are designed to provide the same benefits and hearing performance and will work with one (unilateral) or two (bilateral) Baha® 5 Sound Processors, according to Cochlear. The new SoundArc is designed to provide a modern look, be lightweight, and easy to put on and take off. The SoundArc comes in several sizes and is adaptable to fit different-shaped heads and sizes, and offers a variety of soft-colored tips to match hair, clothes, or mood.
“All previous non-surgical devices have used the head or ears to aid in retention,” said Mats Dotevall, director, design and development, Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions AB. “With the Baha SoundArc, we needed to find a way to deliver excellent sound quality, power performance, and fit different head shapes and sizes without compromising on comfort. This makes the SoundArc unique.”
The Baha SoundArc, along with the Baha Softband, is the first step in providing hearing to a child too young (under the age of five) or one who is not yet ready for a bone conduction implant. A bone conduction device can benefit a child with:
- Conductive hearing loss, which occurs when damage to the outer ear or middle ear blocks sound vibrations from reaching the inner ear (cochlea). Common causes include malformations at birth such as microtia and atresia; syndromes such as Down, Goldenhar, and Treacher Collins; chronic mastoiditis or middle ear infections; skin growth or cyst (cholesteatoma); skin allergies; draining ears; chronic ear infections; previous ear surgeries; benign tumors.
- Mixed hearing loss, which refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. This means there may be damage in the outer or middle ear, as well as the inner ear.
- SSD, which occurs when there is little or no hearing in one ear, but normal hearing in the other ear. Common causes include viral infections, Meniere’s disease, adverse reaction to medications, or head/ear injuries.
According to Cochlear’s release, as a child grows, it is common to progress from a non-surgical hearing loss solution to an implantable solution. A bone conduction implant is designed to improve the transmission of sound and help ensure a child can benefit from consistent and reliable access to hearing.3
For adults struggling with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss, SSD, and any of the associated conditions, the Baha SoundArc can be used as a trial device to demo a Baha 5 Sound Processor and hear how it might sound before they make decisions to move forward with the Baha Implant System.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the device and Health Canada has licensed the Baha System for implantation in children aged five years and older, according to Cochlear. The new Cochlear Baha SoundArc is reportedly CE marked, FDA- cleared, and licensed in Canada.
1. Hol MKS, Cremers CWRJ, Coppens-Schellekens W, Snik AFM. The Baha Softband. A new treatment for young children with bilateral congenital aural atresia. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. July, 2005;69(7):973-980.
2. Gustafsson J. BCDrive performance vs. conventional bone conduction transducer. Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions AB, 629908, 2015.
3. Flynn MC. Design concept and technological considerations for the Cochlear Baha 4 Attract System. Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions AB, E82744, Nov 2013.
* Cochlear Baha 5 Sound Processors are compatible with iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone SE, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPad Pro (12.9 inch), iPad Pro (9.7 inch), iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2, iPad mini, iPad (4th generation), iPod touch (6th generation), and iPod touch (5th generation) using iOS 7 or later.
** The Baha 5 Smart App works together with all Cochlear Baha 5 Sound Processors. It is verified on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 9.1 and Samsung Galaxy S6 and S7 running Android OS 5.0 Lollipop. For more detailed device compatibility, see the Baha 5 Smart App description on App Store or Google Play.