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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 416205, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/416205
Research Article

Speech Understanding with a New Implant Technology: A Comparative Study with a New Nonskin Penetrating Baha System

1Department of ENT, Head and Neck Surgery, Inselspital, University of Bern, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
2Cochlear Bone Anchored Hearing Solutions, Mölnlycke, Sweden

Received 6 March 2014; Accepted 16 May 2014; Published 23 July 2014

Academic Editor: Nozomu Matsumoto

Copyright © 2014 Anja Kurz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objective. To compare hearing and speech understanding between a new, nonskin penetrating Baha system (Baha Attract) to the current Baha system using a skin-penetrating abutment. Methods. Hearing and speech understanding were measured in 16 experienced Baha users. The transmission path via the abutment was compared to a simulated Baha Attract transmission path by attaching the implantable magnet to the abutment and then by adding a sample of artificial skin and the external parts of the Baha Attract system. Four different measurements were performed: bone conduction thresholds directly through the sound processor (BC Direct), aided sound field thresholds, aided speech understanding in quiet, and aided speech understanding in noise. Results. The simulated Baha Attract transmission path introduced an attenuation starting from approximately 5 dB at 1000 Hz, increasing to 20–25 dB above 6000 Hz. However, aided sound field threshold shows smaller differences and aided speech understanding in quiet and in noise does not differ significantly between the two transmission paths. Conclusion. The Baha Attract system transmission path introduces predominately high frequency attenuation. This attenuation can be partially compensated by adequate fitting of the speech processor. No significant decrease in speech understanding in either quiet or in noise was found.