Health Library
Bone Conduction Devices

What Are Bone Conduction Devices?

Bone conduction devices are a type of hearing device that give an option for children who cannot wear regular hearing aids. Your child may benefit from this type of device if they have:

  • Conductive or mixed hearing loss caused by congenital ear abnormalities (aural atresia and microtia) or craniofacial anomalies and associated syndromes
  • Chronic ear infections or drainage from the ear
  • Single-sided deafness. This is a condition where a person has normal hearing in one ear and no hearing in the other ear.

A regular hearing aid transmits sound through the ear canal. A bone conduction device gently vibrates the bone behind your ear to send sound directly to the inner ear (called the cochlea).

Bone conduction devices are different than a cochlear implant. This is because the inner ear moves the bone conduction vibrations the same way a healthy ear moves sound waves.

For patients with single-sided deafness, the bone conduction device is positioned near the ear with hearing loss. The vibrations are picked up by the inner ear on the opposite side of the head. These devices are also known as bone anchored hearing aids (Baha), bone anchored implants, or bone conduction hearing devices.

There are many different types of bone conduction devices and wearing options available for kids. These devices can be worn on a post (called an abutment) or on a magnet. To wear the devices with a post and magnet the child would need surgery. The device can also be worn on a soft headband or with a sticker for younger children, or for those patients who cannot or choose not to have surgery.

An audiologist will work closely with you to figure out which hearing device and wearing option is best for your child. You and the audiologist will also work closely with your child’s otolaryngologist (ENT) to see if a surgically implanted device is a good option.

If our team and your family decide that a bone conduction device will help your child, we will guide you through the evaluation and fitting process. Medical approval from a doctor is needed by state law before getting and using any hearing device.

Appointment What to Expect
Bone Conduction Device Evaluation
  • See different types of bone conduction devices.
  • An assessment of your child's communication needs.
  • Recommendations based on your child's hearing test (audiogram) and listening needs.
Bone Conduction Device Fitting
  • Bone conduction device programmed on a computer.
  • Get instructions on how to properly use and care for the bone conduction device.
  • Talk about communication and strategies to help your child succeed with their new bone conduction device.
Bone Conduction Device Check
  • Scheduled after the fitting, and then for routine monitoring.
  • An assessment of bone conduction device makes sure they are working properly.
  • May include a hearing test to monitor your child’s hearing.
  • Testing in the booth with the bone conduction device on to check benefit.
  •  Adjustments to the bone conduction device programming when needed.

Last Updated 03/2022

Reviewed By Virginia Bolster, AuD

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