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Front Range Otolaryngology

BAHA/PONTO

Single sided Deafness

In patients who are deaf in one ear or have a severe hearing loss in one ear that isn’t helped by a traditional hearing aid, there are basically 2 options available for treatment. The first option is a CROS (Contralateral Routing Of Signal) hearing aid. It looks like a traditional hearing aid. However, it picks up sounds going to the bad ear, and it transfers them to a hearing device on the good ear. The previous CROS aids that were available on the market weren’t very good. However, a new CROS aid came out a few years ago that works very well. The other option is a bone anchored hearing device, which is described below.

How Do Bone Anchored Hearing Devices Work?

Bones, like air, can conduct sound vibrations. For those with single sided hearing loss, these devices provide another pathway to perceive sound. Typical hearing aids rely on air conduction. With bone anchored hearing devices sound is sent through the skull to the better hearing ear. These devices can also be used in patients whose ear canal didn’t form or have other ear canal/outer ear hearing issues.

Benefits

  • In patients with single sided deafness a bone conduction system can pick up sounds coming to the bad ear and transfer them to the good ear. This process increases awareness of what is happening on both sides of the head, and it makes it easier to understand speech. Thus, patients with single sided deafness can regain 360-degree sound awareness.
  • The bone anchored device can be connected to a test band preop, which allows patients to try the sound processor in different environments such as at home, at work etc. prior to committing to surgery.
  • With a bone anchored device the ear canal is kept completely open. This device may be more comfortable and less problematic if patients suffer from chronic ear infections/irritation.

Safe and Simple Procedure

The surgical procedure to have a bone anchored hearing device placed is safe and simple. It doesn’t take very long, and there is no risk of damage to the ear or hearing.

The procedure involves surgically placing a small titanium implant in the bone behind the ear. After the simple procedure, the implant is given time to bond with the surrounding bone tissue – a process known as osseointegration. Once proper integration occurs, the listening device can be attached and detached from the implant easily.

Words From Users

Ponto Pro
Oticon Medical

…The surgery was very easy. I just had to care for the wound site while it healed and then my Ponto Pro was fitted three months later. When I first put the Ponto Pro on, I felt like a kid at Christmas. I was in tears. I just wanted to go out in the world and have people talk to me. I couldn’t believe I could pick up sounds on my deaf side. I was startled by sounds I had forgotten were there. After only one year, I had forgotten so many of the everyday sounds people with normal hearing hear all the time. I was so thrilled, I made my surgeon give me a hug!…Just knowing that I don’t have to compensate for my “blind spot” is so freeing. – Kris Siwek

The surgical procedure went well and the recovery was easy. I was ready to experience all of the good things I had heard about Ponto Pro. I have to say that the fitting was pretty amazing. It is almost hard to describe what it was like being able to hear so much more clearly. I could even hear the background noise that most people probably hear all the time – but I hadn’t been able to before. It was a really incredible sensation.

It was raining on the day I was fitted with Ponto Pro. When I drove home, I could hear the ping of the raindrops on my windshield…It probably took a couple of weeks to really get used to the uniqueness of hearing all of the different sounds. Now I put my Ponto Pro on in the morning and I don’t pay attention to it all day. I thought, Oh my gosh, I can hear everything, every little detail!– Robb Boss

Baha
Cochlear Americas

After testing the Baha, I immediately decided to go for it. Once the Baha was fitted, I noticed an instant improvement in my hearing. I also noticed a real difference when shopping. Despite the music and lots of other sounds, I can hear everything effortlessly. I am so happy with a Baha – it has improved my quality of life. – Ans van de Wetering

What a change – wow!
The quality of sound produced by this device is clear and useful to me even in noisy environments. The Baha is so easy to use I often forget it is attached. – Doug Metz

Listening used to take a lot of energy. With the Baha, group conversations are so much easier. I can hear where the sound is coming from and don’t look at the wrong person any more. I can also hear all the little things in life, that others often take for granted. – Vreni Cornelissen

It is not an exaggeration to say that my use of Baha over the past few months has given me a glimpse of what my life could have been like. – Jennifer Andrew