Tag Archives: pediatrics

Man and woman standing next to each other

New Video Series: Part of the Family

We are excited to bring you a new series of blog posts in 2024. We call them “Part of the Family” because we are featuring families of young Ponto wearers and their experiences not only with Oticon Medical’s bone anchored hearing systems, but also as members of our Oticon Medical extended family of advocates.

Introducing the Bayan Family

The Bayan family includes mom Christine, dad DJ, sister Ava, and Ponto™ 5 SuperPower wearer Sean. Sean underwent a combination of ear reconstruction and our minimally invasive Ponto surgery (MIPS) about a year ago, with the goal of providing him with the best possible access to sound.* The Bayans take every opportunity to offer support to other families who might be considering a BAHS for their child by discussing Sean’s path to better hearing in testimonials and in their community. They have also enjoyed participating in Oticon Medical events where they get to spend time with other families sharing their stories and experiences in a supportive environment.

Open Up Your Child’s World

When your child has a hearing loss, early access to clear, high-quality sound can give them more opportunities to learn and grow—and to engage with all life has to offer. Learn more about our Ponto 5 family of hearing processors and all the ways in which they might benefit your child.

* Ponto surgery is contraindicated for patients under 5 years of age. Not all hearing loss patients are candidates for a bone anchored solution. Patient candidacy and aspects relating to implant
installation are based on individual patient assessment. Outcomes and healing times vary patient to patient. Please consult your hearing care professional. Testimonials represent the opinion of the 
concerned individuals only and may not be the experience of others.

We are Interested in Your Experience with Oticon Medical’s Softband!

Help Us Help Others with Hearing Loss

Oticon Medical is conducting a research survey to learn more about children’s experience with their softband solution.   

Softband is a medical device. This means that we need to gather data and feedback from users about the device to ensure that the softband does what it is intended to do—help people hear!

By participating in this research survey, you can help us gather knowledge around the softband solution, so we make sure that our products keep improving and can help more people with hearing loss.  

Please click through this link to sign up for the survey! 

 

 

National Microtia & Atresia Awareness Day 2023

Microtia and Atresia: A Primer

We are excited to promote National Microtia and Atresia Awareness Day on November 9! This annual day was established to inform the public about microtia (literal translation: “little ear”) and atresia (absence or closure of the ear canal), their impact on those who have one or both conditions, and potential treatments, including bone anchored hearing systems (BAHS) for associated hearing loss. This day also allows us to celebrate those who advocate on behalf of themselves and loved ones to be treated with understanding, kindness, and respect.

The following is provided as a primer. You can use it to better understand these conditions and to educate others.

What is microtia?

Microtia is a condition that occurs the first trimester of fetal development that causes one or both ears to only partially develop or not develop at all. In some cases, it is accompanied by atresia, which describes ear canals that are either underdeveloped or nonexistent. Many people with microtia also have craniofacial microsomia, which affects facial symmetry and involves differences related to the jaw and general appearance.

How many types of microtia are there?

Microtia is classified according to the following four types:

  • Type 1: Smaller-than-average external ear (pinna) with functioning hearing organs
  • Type 2: Only part of the pinna developed and is undersized
  • Type 3: Very little of the ear exists or functions
  • Type 4: Complete absence of an external ear

Is microtia inherited?

The condition may run in some families, but far more often there is no prior family history. Based on current scientific data about microtia, with and without atresia, it is usually a random occurrence affecting embryos during their early development.

However, in a handful of cases, microtia has been found to affect members in multiple generations of a family, although it sometimes skips generations. Having one child with microtia increases the risk of having another by 5 percent. The likelihood of someone with microtia having a child with the same condition also increases by 5 percent.

How common is microtia?

Microtia, with and without atresia, occurs in approximately 1-5 births out of every 10,000 in the United States. It affects children assigned male at birth more frequently than those assigned female. It most often affects the right ear. Studies have indicated that it occurs more frequently in people of Asian, South American, and Western European descent, but is rarer in those of  African descent.

How does microtia affect hearing ability?

For many people with microtia, it only affects appearance and not hearing ability, so long as they have a functioning ear canal and inner ear organs (i.e., a working cochlea). However, for those with atresia, partial or complete hearing loss may result in the affected ear(s).

What options are available for people with microtia?

Some parents may elect reconstructive surgery for a child missing most or all of their outer ear for cosmetic reasons. This may involve using the child’s own tissue and cartilage, synthetic materials, or a combination to create as realistic appearing an ear as possible.

If enough of a child’s ear canal exists, it may be possible to open it with surgery, thus enabling at least some hearing. If there is no ear canal or surgery to the ear is otherwise not an option, a BAHS (bone anchored hearing system) may be recommended to provide hearing ability.* This might be a bilateral (two-sided) system if both ears are affected or unilateral (single-sided) if only one ear is affected. A full BAHS consists of a small titanium implant screw placed in the skull bone, and a skin-penetrating abutment onto which a sound processor is affixed. Alternately, sound processors can be worn on a soft or hard band without surgery.

For more information about microtia and atresia, including National Microtia and Atresia Day,  please visit www.earcommunity.org.

For more about bone conduction hearing treatments like the Ponto BAHS, please visit www.oticonmedical.com/us.

* Implantation of bone anchored hearing system implants is contraindicated for children under 5 years of age. Not all hearing loss patients are candidates for a bone anchored solution.

Isla Feels More Confident Than Ever with New Ponto 5 SuperPowers

Katelyn Harkins tells us how getting fit bilaterally with Ponto 5™ SuperPower processors have helped her eight-year-old daughter Isla blossom socially.

Isla was born with bilateral microtia/atresia. She was adopted from China at 20 months old and had no access to sound prior to coming home. She received Ponto bone anchored hearing processors on a softband as loaners from Oticon Medical the month she turned two and loved them immediately. She even insisted on wearing them to nap!

We are privileged enough to have access to excellent hearing solutions from Oticon Medical, which give Isla a near normal audiogram. We are also lucky to have a school for the Deaf nearby, which gives Isla access to education provided in both spoken English and American Sign Language (ASL).

We were very excited to hear OM was coming out with a Ponto 5 SuperPower! Isla’s hearing loss is severe enough that the extra headroom of the SuperPower allows for access to as much sound as possible, and equally little feedback. Isla was thrilled that the upgrade gave her onboard controls for volume and mute.

Isla’s upgrade included getting bilaterally implanted*. In researching implantation, I understood minimally invasive Ponto surgery (MIPS) was minimally invasive compared to the old “long cut” or “pocket” methods: one hole punched in the skin, one hole drilled and filled with a tiny screw. I brought my research to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) ENT and Isla was his first MIPS surgery. He expressed that he loved the process and was very impressed with the how easily it went. In this video, (Isla was still waiting six months to “snap on” her processors because her skull bones are thin).

The Ponto 5 SPs are amazing!  My daughter has loved her devices from the beginning, and we always made them fun by having a bunch of different colored softbands to choose from each morning. She has absolutely blossomed in public and more crowded situations with the upgrade to P5 SPs. She’s more willing to get out there and play or join a group of kids she doesn’t know. Absolutely worth it!

* Ponto surgery is contraindicated for patients under 5 years of age. The subject here is shown wearing two ponto 5 superpowers on a softband but has undergone the surgery stated by the parent. Outcomes and healing times wary patient to patient. Please consult your caregiver.

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.

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Thinking of a Bone Anchored Hearing System? Make An Informed Decision & Select the Device That’s Right For You

A Bone Anchored Hearing System (BAHS) is an amazing life improvement that can immediately bring a smile to your face and new sound into your world. Whether you experience the feeling for yourself, or it’s for someone you love, choosing the right BAHS solution is important. The key is that you have a choice, and when you have a choice, it’s best to make an informed decision.

Did you know there are different types of implants? For instance, a direct drive solution sends vibrations via a direct route to the bone. That’s different from a skin drive, which sends vibrations through the skin and then to the bone.

Depending on your specific condition, certain solutions work better than others.

Informed Decisions

Physical facts with skin drive solutions: These devices have lower output in the mid to high frequency region.

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