What is the youngest age a child can be fit with a bone anchored hearing system?
Surgery for a bone anchored system is indicated for children typically age 5 years and older who meet the candidacy criteria. A bone anchored hearing system can be fit on a child of any age on a soft band. The Oticon Medical Ponto soft band is ideal for children who are either too young to have an implant, or whose hearing problems are temporary. Wearing the sound processor on a soft band is also a good way to evaluate how much the sound processor may benefit a child, before deciding to have an implant placed.
Adjustable and elastic, the soft band fits any head size; even the smallest infants can wear it. It is available in six colors, with a plastic connector for the Ponto sound processor that can be moved to the optimal position for each child's comfort and hearing needs. A special soft band is available that accommodates bilateral sound processors. The band is both latex and velcro-free, to prevent allergic reactions and skin irritation.
The Ponto sound processor is a child-friendly solution that can be easily adapted to children's needs as they grow. Ponto has a tamper-proof battery door, and its on-board controls (push button and volume control) can be fully deactivated. The controls may be activated later on if indicated, and special programs can be added to the sound processor. Ponto sound processors are fully compatible with FM systems to support classroom communication and learning.
Research shows that children with unilateral hearing loss and minimal hearing loss, as well as those with more significant degrees of hearing loss, are at risk for speech, language and academic issues. Bone anchored systems represent one treatment option that can be considered for children any age through the use of a soft band fitting.
Thank you for your question. For more information, please visit www.oticonmedical.com, and check out the latest CE courses on the Oticon Medical Expo Page on AudiologyOnline including, How to Overcome the Struggles of Pediatric Hearing Loss.