Bone anchored hearing aids utilize bone conduction – sound is conveyed straight into the inner ear via bone. This type of hearing aid is meant for people who have microtia, a small ear canal or can’t for some other reason use a traditional hearing aid. If the hearing loss is unilateral, a hearing aid is generally not necessary, but in case of, e.g. bilateral microtia, hearing aid amplification is essential.
The bone anchored hearing aid’s speech processor picks up the soundwaves and a computer chip analyzes the sound digitally. The digitally processed sound is amplified and converted into vibration. The vibration is conveyed via bone into the inner ear, bypassing both the outer and middle ear. Smaller children wear a bone anchored hearing aid attached to a soft bad. For older children, permanently attaching a screw that the hearing aid is attached to is an option.
Two manufacturers offer bone anchored hearing aids: Cochlear has Baha and Oticon the Ponto.