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Ear canal & middle ear problems

If your hearing loss is due to problems in your outer or middle ear, you may be a good candidate for a bone anchored hearing system like Ponto. Specifically designed to bypass any problems in the ear canal or middle ear, the Ponto system could offer you clearer, more natural listening.

Types of hearing loss

There are three main types of hearing loss: conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss and a combination of the two that is also known as mixed hearing loss.

  • Conductive hearing loss 
    This is when an obstacle somewhere in the outer and/or middle ear stops airborne sound waves from reaching your inner ear.

    By sending the sound directly to the inner ear via the skull bone, without it having to travel through the ear canal and middle ear, the Ponto system completely bypasses these obstacles.

  • Mixed hearing loss 
    This is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss 

    For this type of hearing loss, the Ponto system can first bypass the obstacle in the ear canal or middle ear and then focus on compensating for the sensorineural hearing loss.  

  • Sensorineural hearing loss  
    This is when there is a problem in the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve, which could be caused by things such as exposure to loud noise, the aging process, or an inherited hearing loss.

    If you have complete sensorineural deafness in one ear, then the Ponto system might be a good solution, see single-sided deafness.

    However, in many cases of sensorineural hearing loss, a bone anchored hearing system will not be the best solution, unless you have eczema in your ear canal and cannot wear a conventional hearing aid.

 

Malformations of the outer ear

A common cause of conductive or mixed hearing loss is atresia, a malformation of the outer ear where the ear canal is either missing or very narrow. Atresia is also sometimes accompanied by microtia, which is the abnormal development of the external ear.

Oticon Medical supports the Ear Community, an advocacy and support group for individuals born with microtia and/or atresia, among other conditions related to hearing loss.

Infections, irritation & draining ears

Sometimes conductive hearing loss is caused by chronic ear infections. Conventional hearing aids can aggravate this, as they physically block the ear canal, increasing the risk of irritation and reinfection. With the Ponto bone anchored hearing system the ear canal is always left open, which helps to keep it dry and healthy.