Today, those who experience severe conductive and mixed hearing loss have new treatment option.
In August, 2009, hearing aid manufacturer, Oticon, received FDA approval to begin using Ponto – an innovative, bone-anchored hearing system. Oticon’s Ponto and Ponto Pro use Oticon’s highly-sophisticated RISE hearing circuitry. The Ponto and Ponto Pro mark Oticon’s first foray into bone-anchored hearing systems.
Another bone anchored hearing system is Cochlear America’s Baha implant which has been on the market for quite some time. The Baha was one of the first hearing systems based on direct bone conduction and has been fit on thousands of patients around the world. Since being purchased by Cochlear Americas in 2005, the Baha system has gone through extensive improvements.
What is a bone anchored system and is it right for you?
Bone anchored systems consist of a sound processor, an abutment and a small titanium implant that is implanted into the boney portion of the skull behind the ear. The sound processor picks up the sound waves around you (similar to a hearing aid) and transfers the sound to the abutment and the bone anchored implant. The sound is then transferred via bone vibration directly to the healthy inner ear (the cochlea) and bypasses the damaged outer and/or middle ear.
These devices are similar to hearing aids that it pick up sound around you to amplify, but instead of sending the signal through the ear canal, sound is sent via vibrations through the skull.
If the cause of your hearing loss is nerve damage (sensorineural hearing loss), a bone anchored implant like Cochlear America’s Baha or Oticon’s Ponto series isn’t going to solve your hearing loss problem. Traditional hearing aids or cochlear implants are designed for your type of hearing loss.
However, if the source of your hearing loss isn’t entirely nerve hearing loss but conductive hearing loss and you have had little success with traditional hearing aids, then you should talk to a hearing professional about bone anchored implant candidacy.
To learn more about the latest in bone-anchored hearing technology and if this technology is right for your hearing loss, visit: Bone Anchored Hearing Implants – Technology Marches On.