Bone anchored hearing aids are gaining wide acceptability in the treatment of patients with congenital ear problems, chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM) and in some cases otosclerosis. To date little information on the effect of the bone anchored hearing aid on the symptoms of chronic suppurative otitis is available. This retrospective study based on notes review and telephone interviews was to assess the outcome of bone anchored hearing aid surgery in patients with CSOM in terms of: ear discharge; surgical techniques and complications; the number of hours the aid is worn compared with the previous aid.
One hundred and forty-two patients were fitted with bone anchored hearing aids without additional prostheses in Birmingham between 1989 and 1995. Sixty-nine (48.5 per cent) of these were for chronic suppurative otitis media, 45 of these were female and 24 were male with a mean age of 58 years. Most (85 per cent) had undergone previous ear surgery with 65 per cent having mastoid surgery. Ninety-eight per cent of this patient group had undergone single stage surgery and 65 per cent under local anaesthetic as a day case. A variety of techniques for soft tissue reduction were employed.
The mean follow-up time for these patients was 24 months (range one month to seven years). No patients experienced worse discharge following their BAHA and 84 per cent had significantly reduced discharge, 16 per cent had no change. Complications included skin reactions, 15; failure to integrate, one; late loss of fixture, three. Seventy-three per cent wore their bone anchored hearing aid more than eight hours per day and 58 per cent were more satisfied with their bone anchored hearing aid than their previous aid.