If you have unilateral hearing impairment with reasonable hearing in the other ear, you can use either a normal or amplified stethoscope, depending on your low frequency hearing in the good ear. Don’t leave the other earpiece dangling. Put it in your ear, wear it occluded against your neck or block it with something else. That prevents problems with background noise and attenuation from the free earpiece. Or use an electronic stethoscope with headphones.

If your hearing loss is bilateral then depending how much residual hearing you have at low frequencies, you may be able to use an amplified stethoscope with normal earpieces or headphones. With a more severe conductive deafness, you can connect an electronic stethoscope to your BAHA with a direct audio input cable or telecoil or via an FM or bluetooth streamer. You may need to ask your audiologist to set up a stethoscope programme on your processor to filter out the higher frequencies and boost the low frequencies for heart and lung sounds. Whether you can do this with a mixed or sensorineural deafness will depend on how much residual hearing you have at low frequencies.

Can someone let me know please: is it sometimes possible to wear headphones over the microphones on a BAHA processor? If so, that would be another option. Make sure you choose headphones with a good low-frequency response.

I’m still learning about BAHAs so please let me know if you have information. Thank you.

Other information:

  • Have you read the essential safety information: “limitations of hearing aids and implants?”
  • Consider funding
  • Arrange a trial period
  • And see how your audiogram matches up to heart and lung sounds to find out whether you need amplification or not.
  • Don’t forget, hearing aids and implants don’t usually reproduce the low frequencies well. So if you’re using earpieces, custom moulds or headphones over hearing aids you also need vents in your ear moulds or open fitting.
  • Certain electronic stethoscopes can link to hearing aids and implants using accessories such as the T switch, direct audio input (DAI) cables or even FM or Bluetooth if your hearing aids have these facilities. However it is better to use earpieces or headphones if possible to avoid the problem of poor low frequency reproduction.

Which stethoscope? Comparison chart.

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