Evaluation of a new directionality system in bone anchored sound processor

Laura Dixon

Oticon Medical, Auckland, New Zealand 

The significance of early intervention on language development in children with hearing loss is undeniable. We are now at a point within the industry where simply providing amplification is insufficient for optimum learning and therefore we aim to gain a greater insight into the fundamental aspects which may enhance or hinder language acquisition.

We will investigate the errors made by those with hearing loss which impact on schooling and language abilities in later life. Research has shown the first and best thing that can be done for those with hearing loss is to provide a well amplified speech signal where loud sounds are perceived as loud, but not overly loud, and quiet sounds as quiet. Greater output has been shown to reduce listening effort, freeing up the brain’s resources for other tasks. Increasing the bandwidth provided to a child can have significant benefits in provision of spectral cues and on the speed at which they learn. We will investigate this further by analysing research which compares children with or without hearing loss who are presented with novel words through a full versus a limited bandwidth. Knowing how important it is to provide the clearest speech signal we will look at the solutions available to children with conductive and mixed hearing losses. A comparison of performance with bone anchored hearing solutions used on a soft band over traditional bone conduction aids will be reviewed.

The new Ponto3 Super Power device offers the most powerful abutment-level sound processor on the global market along with the industry’s widest frequency range. With the above in mind, we predict this device can only facilitate language learning for children with a hearing loss. These benefits additionally come with a new soft band for increased comfort and aesthetics to encourage each child in their individual rehabilitation journey.


Biography

Laura trainied as an Audiologist in the UK completing both the Masters and Doctoral programmes. She went on to work in the busy NHS environment and very quickly developed a passion for implantable hearing solutions. Those ‘wow’moments when a patient receives a device that changes their life proved too strong and for the last 13 years Laura has worked only with Cochlear Implants and Bone Anchored Hearing Solutions. In 2010 Laura began working commercially and has been heavily involved in clinical support, audiological and surgical training as well as sales management.