Hearing loss access

  • Hearing aids
  • Cochlear implants
  • Assistive listening devices
  • Assistive living devices
  • Baha®

Hearing Aids

A hearing aid is a small electronic device that you wear in or behind your ear. It makes some sounds louder so that a person with hearing loss can listen, communicate, and participate more fully in daily activities. A hearing aid can help people hear more in both quiet and noisy situations. However, only about one out of five people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one.

A hearing aid has three basic parts: a microphone, amplifier, and speaker. The hearing aid receives sound through a microphone, which converts the sound waves to electrical signals and sends them to an amplifier. The amplifier increases the power of the signals and then sends them to the ear through a speaker.

hearing aids
There are three basic styles of hearing aids. The styles differ by size, their placement on or inside the ear, and the degree to which they amplify sound.  Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids consist of a hard plastic case worn behind the ear and connected to a plastic ear mould that fits inside the outer ear.  In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids fit completely inside the outer ear and are used for mild to severe hearing loss.   Canal aids fit into the ear canal and are available in two styles. The in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid is made to fit the size and shape of a person’s ear canal. A completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid is nearly hidden in the ear canal. Both types are used for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.

Cochlear implants

A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing. The implant consists of an external portion that sits behind the ear and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin (see figure). An implant has the following parts:

Cochlear implants
point A microphone, which picks up sound from the environment.
point A speech processor, which selects and arranges sounds picked up by the microphone.
point A transmitter and receiver/stimulator, which receive signals from the speech processor and convert them into electric impulses.
point An electrode array, which is a group of electrodes that collects the impulses from the stimulator and sends them to different regions of the auditory nerve.

An implant does not restore normal hearing. Instead, it can give a deaf person a useful representation of sounds in the environment and help him or her to understand speech.


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Distributor of Cochlear Baha® in SA
Tel 012 – 667 4460
Differences between CI and BAHA.

Assistive listening devices

Assistive listening devices (ALDs) include a large variety of devices designed to improve audibility in specific listening situations. Some are designed to be used with hearing aids or cochlear implants (CIs), while others are designed to be used alone. Many that are used in conjunction with hearing aids require a telecoil (T-switch).  Assistive listening devices can usually amplify a signal, but their primary purpose isn't to make a signal louder. Rather, they place a pickup (microphone) close to the sound source, so that it becomes louder compared to the other sounds in the environment. Assistive listening devices improve your ability to hear because they make the desired sound stand out from the background noise.

Digital Hearing Systems

Bellman Audio Domino Pro

Bellman Audio Domino Classic

Bellman Audio Domino Pro Bellman Audio Domino Classic
Bellman® Audio Domino is a revolutionary wireless personal hearing system that uses digital state-of-the-art sound processing and wireless wideband technology to bring out speech in difficult listening situations; at Home, at Work, at School, at Restaurant, in the Car and while Watching the TV etc. Domino is designed both for non hearing instrument users and hearing instruments users (with ‘‘T’’- position) and delivers crystal-clear sound, free from background noise and feedback, and with no risk of eavesdropping.
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The Domino Classic system consists of a transmitter and a receiver, equipped with state-of-the-art microphones.  The sound is picked up both by the transmitter and receiver microphones and converted into digital data. Speech is clarified and annoying background noise is eliminated. The transmitter sound is streamed over an encrypted wireless link to the receiver for listening with Ear Phones, Headphones or Neck Loop.
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Personal Amplifiers



Mino Maxi
The Mino is a new speech amplifier that helps you hear better in most everyday situations, whether you wear a hearing aid/cochlear implant or just suffer the occasional hearing difficulty. 
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Bellman® Audio Maxi is a revolutionary fully digital Personal Communicator for difficult listening situations and helps to bring out speech in for example conversations, TV-watching or in the car. Maxi is developed especially for people, with our without a hearing instrument, who prefer a very easy-to-use device with large tactile controls and clear indications. Maxi has a crystalclear digital sound, free from background noise and feedback.  Maxi is provided with a unique “Push-to-Listen” function for convenient TV watching. Long battery life time with up to 150 hours on one set of two normal AA batteries makes Maxi very portable!
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Induction Loop Systems

domestic look systemProfessional loop systemcounter loop systemportable loop system

For more detail regarding Induction loops systems, Click here

Assistive living devices

Seemingly small devices can make an enormous difference in everyday living, for example:  home alerting systems, vibrating clocks and watches etc

Bellman Visit Alerting System (868)

This popular wireless alerting system helps people to ­detect important signals and alarms in difficult listening ­situations. With the Bellman Visit 868 system you will easily detect your doorbell, ­telephone, smoke alarm, your baby’s ­crying, etc. All these functions are ­seamlessly integrated into a well-designed wireless system.  Bellman Visit is changing peoples life because it signifies safety, flexibility and freedom.
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COCHLEAR BAHA® - Bone anchored hearing implants

In certain cases neither a conventional hearing aid, nor a cochlear implant will be adequate to compensate for a specific hearing loss. In cases where the middle ear is blocked or damaged, or where only one ear is functional, a Baha®, also known as a bone anchored hearing implant, is more effective.

What is a Baha®?

We hear sound naturally in two ways: via air conduction and bone conduction. A Baha® is a bone conduction system that sends sound vibrations through the bone, directly to the inner ear. I.e., instead of trying to send sound through the damaged area, the Baha® system reroutes it directly through the bone, naturally stimulating the inner ear or cochlea.

A Baha® consists of a titanium fixture and abutment (implant) that is placed in the mastoid bone behind the ear where it grows with the living bone.  An external sound processor is attached to the implant after a healing period of six to twelve weeks, which picks up and transfers external sounds directly to the cochlea via bone conduction (the skull).  

What are the benefits?
A Baha® bypasses the conductive element (middle ear) of a hearing loss and only needs to compensate for the sensorineural element (cochlea function)
Patients with a unilateral (one ear) hearing loss may again experience the benefit of binaural (two ears) hearing
It is a minor procedure that cannot damage a patient’s hearing
It can be trialed beforehand to evaluate whether the Baha® will be of help
It does not obstruct the ear canal
Improved comfort – no constant pressure to the skull
Who qualifies for a Baha®?

In general, people who have middle ear problems, or can hear with only one ear, are ideal candidates for a Baha®. The Baha® is a reliable and effective solution to hearing loss.

For further information contact Southern ENT, Nicolette van Zyl at 082 819 0205 or visit www.southernear.com / www.cochlear.com or the Facebook Baha Support Group (patient forum)

Southern-ENT banner

Distributor of Cochlear Baha® in SA
Tel 012 – 667 4460
Differences between CI and BAHA.
  • Using Assistive Listening Devices: Part 1
  • Using Assistive Listening Devices: Part 2




Employers, hearing healthcare professionals, therapists, hearing impaired and deaf persons (or anyone else that is interested), please feel free to contact Fanie du Toit for an appointment to view his home (in Cape Town) and to experience how he, as a person with a severe hearing loss, lives and works independently, all thanks to assistive listening and living devices.  Fanie’s contact particulars: fanie.dt@mweb.co.za

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