A semi-implantable hearing device may be recommended if there is a medical reason that you cannot wear a conventional ‘behind-the-ear’ hearing aid.
Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) is one of the biggest centres in the country for bone anchored hearing devices (often known as BAHAs) and is also growing in expertise in middle ear implants (MEIs). Central Manchester Audiology Services work closely with the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) department to deliver this service. Both of these procedures involve having an operation to place small components behind the ear. These then attach to an external hearing aid which processes sound in a similar way to a conventional hearing aid, to help you hear.
What is the semi-implantable devices clinic?
Our specialist team provides a nationally recognised service for:
- Bone-anchored hearing devices (commonly known as BAHAs). These are specialist hearing aids which are fixed directly to the bone behind the ear or worn attached to a headband.
- Middle Ear Implants (MEIs). We are also one of four clinics in the UK who assess and fit patients with middle ear implants. These are specialised hearing aids that require a device to be placed within the middle ear and a hearing aid processor attaches to the scalp via a magnet.
- Wireless CROS hearing aids. The CROS is the ‘Contralateral Routing Of Sound’ and picks up sounds with a microphone behind the ear which is not working. It then transmits the sound to a hearing aid in the better-hearing ear.
Who is the service for?
BAHAs and MEIs are suitable for patients who are unable to wear conventional hearing aids that fit into the ear. This may be due to problems with recurrent infections or allergic reactions to conventional hearing aids, or problems with the shape, size or development of the ear from birth.
BAHAs and wireless CROS devices are suitable for patients who have hearing in only one ear (unilateral hearing).
What service is provided at MRI?
We accept referrals from a number of different routes including ENT, GPs and Audiologists. We accept referrals from Greater Manchester as well as surrounding areas which include Yorkshire, Wales, Cumbria and the Isle of Man.
We carry out a range of testing (see below) as well as undertaking a consultation with a specialist audiologist who will provide visual and written information for you. If you are suitable for a MEI or a BAHA, the whole process including the surgery and after-care program will be explained in detail.
BAHAs (on a headband) and wireless CROS devices are provided to patients on loan. These loan devices can be taken home for a short period of time. This allows you to see the benefit of the device in your everyday listening situations.
As well as providing assessment appointments we also provide ongoing care for all patients and provide after-care, upgrades, and follow-ups appointments. We also work with the voluntary BAHA support group and attend regular meetings to answer questions and present information to people who are existing users or people who are considering a BAHA.
We have an ‘expert patient’ service which has volunteers who are BAHA wearers. These patients attend the weekly joint Audiology/ENT clinic to speak openly and honestly with patients who are considering a BAHA.
How can I get an appointment?
For new assessments patients will need to be referred by a health professional. Patients who already have a device and need a further appointment can contact the department on (0161) 276 4613 for an appointment.
How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
You will be offered an appointment within six weeks of us receiving the referral. Patients who already have a device and wish to have a further appointment will be seen as soon as possible. We also offer a repair service and ask patients to call us as soon as there is a problem with the device so we can arrange a repair and service of the device.
BAHA Team, Audiology Department, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Oxford Road, M13 9WL
Tel: 0161 276 4613
What will happen when I have my appointment?
The initial assessment will take between 90 minutes and two hours. The appointment will include some general questions about your hearing and listening difficulties. During this assessment you may also;
- Have a full hearing test
- Undergo some speech testing (where you will listen to words and repeat what you hear) with and without a device (where applicable).
- Be provided with visual and written information about semi-implantable devices which may be suitable for you. If you are suitable for a MEI or a BAHA, the whole process including the surgery and after care program will be explained in detail.
- Be loaned a device for a shot period of time, if you are suitable for a wireless CROS and/or BAHA, so you can evaluate its benefit in your everyday listening situations.
You will then be seen for a follow-up where you will spend approximately 30 minutes with the Audiologist, evaluating the experiences you have had with the device you have been loaned. If you wish to have a MEI or BAHA you will be given an appointment to attend the joint Audiology/ENT clinic, where you will be seen by the ENT surgeon.
You will discuss with the Audiologist the experiences you have had with device, questionnaires and proformas may also be completed, and if you necessary you will have an appointment booked for the joint Audiology/ENT clinic.