Jennifer H. dealt with conductive hearing loss, hearing aids and middle ear surgery since she was a young child. Struggling throughout life with her hearing aids, she finally got the Cochlear™ Baha® System and has found better hearing has enhanced both her personal and professional world. See how her life has changed:

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“For as long as I can remember I have been hearing impaired. For me, it has never been my identity, just a part of me. As a young child I had a surgery that took out the middle bones in my left ear when I was about 5 years old. I already had hearing loss in my right ear due to a collapsed ear drum and other malformations.

As I got a bit older, I became more aware of my hearing loss and began feeling the effects both emotional and otherwise. Around second grade I tried a traditional hearing aid for the first time. It was a whole new world. I could hear sounds that I did not previously know existed. This also marked the first time I had an awareness of my hearing loss. Something I had not truly begun to process or understand the full impact of until later in my life.

Challenges with my conductive hearing loss

Jennifer with conductive hearing loss and bilateral Baha SystemsWhile there was a marked improvement, there were still challenges for me that came with traditional hearing aids. I can remember a few situations that still stand out to me where I felt my hearing was still lacking. I had a hard time distinguishing directionality and often looked in the wrong direction of the sound. One time I answered the wrong person in the hallway at school and you can imagine the cringe-worthy moment that happened.

As an adult in the work world, I attended meetings and depending on how close or far away I was from the individual speaking, I may or may not have heard what they were saying. I cannot tell you how many times I have asked someone to please repeat what they said. There were also functionality issues of the hearing aid that I dealt with. For one, the moisture in my ear would build up and the hearing aids would slide out of the ear canal which caused a constant need to adjust the hearing aids. Additionally, having conductive hearing loss requires a powerful hearing aid and there were limited options. An audiologist stated that this was likely a challenge I would always have face. While I was hearing better, I did not always feel like the hearing aids worked for me.

Getting the Baha System

Jennifer who has conductive hearing lossFast forward to 2010 after I got my first Baha System on the left side. Then a few years later, I had a second surgery for the right side to get bilateral Baha Sound Processors. My audiologist had started the discussion with me to consider a bone conduction solution. I was nervous at first to have surgery and was unsure if the benefits would outweigh the risks. I also wondered how much my hearing would improve and if the recovery would be hard.

After much discussion with my audiologist and ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor, I decided to proceed with the surgery. After three long months of healing, I had my Baha Sound Processor activated. I chose some accessories to go along with my Baha Sound Processor that included a True Wireless Mini Microphone and the TV Streamer.

Additionally, my audiologist educated and assisted me in setting up my iPhone®12 to work with the Baha 5 Sound Processors. I was now able to take phone calls and stream music directly to my Baha Sound Processors. This technology made a world of difference. I can, for the most part, clearly hear conversation on the phone and even my music without needing to have the volume turned way up! The technology is so amazing; the world has become more accessible to me in ways I did not fully understand that I was lacking.

Hearing performance with the Baha System

As far as hearing goes, I have noticed differences right away. I no longer have to contend with the hearing aid slipping and condensation issues! I can also hear little nuances in speech and music for the first time! This was the biggest and most meaningful impact the Baha System has had. I now can enjoy sounds on a level that I have never before.

I remember going to a restaurant after my Baha Sound Processor activation when I was using the Baha System for the first time. At first, I expected to not hear that well and was worried that I would not be able to communicate in the busy setting. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to have conversation and was not struggling as much as I usually did to hear! The conversations at surrounding tables and general noise did not have the usual impact that it did. I was amazed at the impact in just this situation alone. The entire social event was a pleasure instead of awkward moments of not hearing and apologizing for not hearing.

At work, I have been able to attend meetings and use the True Wireless™ Mini Microphone to hear the feedback of the individuals at the other end of the table. I cannot begin to express how exciting this was to have more tools at my disposal to be able to navigate the hearing world.

A new life both personally and professionally

Jennifer who has conductive hearing loss and her catThe Baha System has truly impacted my life both personally and professionally in a positive way. Having the access to the technology that the Baha System is paired with has made a world of difference. To know definitively that I am hearing and communicating better is a gift that I cannot put a price on. I have been able to professionally pursue more opportunities that I had not thought possible.

My life has been enriched by the opportunity to be a Baha System recipient. While my hearing is not perfect, and no hearing system can replace natural hearing, for me the Baha System has come the closest to helping me live a more fulfilled life.”

Have you been struggling with conductive hearing loss like Jennifer? Look into the Baha System as a way to better hear your world.

  1. For information on sound processor and app compatibility, visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility.
  2. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Cara Lippitt
Cara Lippitt is the Public Relations Associate Manager at Cochlear Americas. She is responsible for consumer marketing social media and blog content. Cara is inspired by the stories of the recipients that she is able to tell and the incredible journeys they have taken. Cara was born and raised in Colorado and adores the mountains, snow and the world of musical theatre.