Seven Things to Know When Considering a Bone Anchored Hearing System for Your Child
In the search for the right hearing solution for their children, parents typically ask, “Will my child be able to hear? Will they be able to talk? Will they be able to achieve the same things that their brothers and sisters or other children can achieve?”
Parents want to know what it takes for their child to grow, play and do the best at school. At Oticon Medical, our goals for technology have always been to meet these challenges. We feel it’s important to offer the technology that will help each child succeed. We believe that children with hearing loss should have access not just to sound, but to a superior sound experience.
Here are the 7 things you need to know when considering a bone anchored hearing system (BAHS) for your child from a recent AudiologyOnline text course, The Ponto Bone Anchored System: The Right Choice for Pediatrics, with Mary Humitz, AuD, CCC-A, FAAA.
- According to Supporting Success for Children with Hearing Loss, Resources for Parents, children with unilateral hearing loss require our early attention because:
- They may be 10 times more likely to fail in school.
- One-third to one-half of children who do not receive help to hear better have problems learning in school.
- One-fifth may ultimately develop behavioral and social problems because many rules of social interaction are learned through subtle auditory and visual cues rather than through direct teaching.
- It’s the absence of incidental speech inside and outside the classroom that contributes to children’s learning issues.
- Children are considered for bone anchored solutions—like the Ponto—typically when it has been determined that they will no longer benefit from amplification provided by traditional hearing aids.
- Bone anchored hearing systems are designed for children with mixed or conductive hearing loss, as well as, children with single-sided deafness (SSD). With mixed or conductive hearing loss, children benefit by having the sound signal bypass the conductive element of their hearing loss and stimulate the inner ears. Learn more about the different types of hearing loss here. With SSD, vibrations are transmitted from the single sided deaf ear to the normal functioning contralateral cochlea. The BAHS reduces the head shadow effect and increases speech understanding in noise.
- There are 3 main components to the Ponto, the Oticon Medical Bone Anchored Hearing System:
- A small (3 or 4 mm) titanium implant that is surgically implanted into the bone behind the ear.
- An abutment that is seamlessly placed through the skin enabling the sound processor to be attached.
- A sound processor that clicks easily to the abutment and sits discreetly behind the ear.
- Bone anchored hearing systems are designed to use the body’s natural ability to transfer sound through bone conduction. Sounds are converted to vibrations, which the skull transmits directly to the inner ears.
- The Ponto BAHS is designed with titanium metal because of its biocompatibility with living bone. This is the foundation of bone anchored hearing system: osseointegration. It provides a direct interface between an implant and the bone, giving the direct bone conduction that the BAHS needs.
- In bone anchored hearing systems, it’s the direct connection between the sound processor and the bone through the implant abutment that gives the clearer sound. It’s this clear sound children need to support their important speech and language development.
If you’d like to talk with an audiologist to learn more about a BAHS for your child, please contact your local clinic
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