The Impact of Hearing Loss, Ponto Users Enjoy the Change

NBC News aired a spot on how hearing loss has such an impact on everyday life. We couldn’t agree more. So, we wanted to cover some of your struggles.

We asked, “What is or was the most difficult challenge in dealing with hearing loss? How has it changed since you’ve received your Ponto? Or, if you don’t have your Ponto yet, what changes are you most looking forward to?”

Special Education

Maurice Gerrits no longer has problems understanding others.
“The concept of a bone anchored hearing device was pointed out to me by my ENT in July 2011 as a possible solution for my conductive hearingloss. I was wearing an Oticon Vigo pro power hearingaid at that time, but it didn’t help me a lot.

My main problem was that I was unable to understand what people where saying a lot of the time. I also found it frustrating that I wasn’t able to localize sound.

After a test week with a headband and asking a lot of questions on the Baha user forum, I decided to get implanted. I chose the Oticon Medical system because of the freedom of choice and because the sound of the Ponto system was a lot better than the Baha BP100 from Cochlear. Also, the ease of use, overall durability and sturtyness of the attachment system made me go for the Ponto.

The implant procedure took place at the Radboud hospital in Nijmegen. The procedure, linear incision, went fast and without any problems. On activation day, I was absolutely amazed by the great sound quality. It was even better than with the headband.

I have no speech understanding problems anymore. Not even at a party or in other crowded environments.  When I go out jogging, I can hear everything around me perfectly. I am very happy with my Oticon Ponto Pro and can recommend it to anyone who has little to no benefit from conventional hearing aids.”

Carolyn Williamson, a special ed teacher, looks forward to hearing her students. 
“I have unilateral deafness after a labyrinthectomy in 2011 in an attempt to manage Meniere’s symptoms (it worked!). I just had my anchor implanted for the Ponto on May 23 – activation on August 16! I’m already planning my “Activation Celebration” party.

I am a special ed teacher, and the impact of my hearing loss isn’t just one big thing, it’s so many little things that, combined, add up to much more than the sum of the parts.

Colleagues who don’t know me think I’m stuck up because I don’t answer their greetings from behind me. I have to put every ounce of energy into hearing a student working on articulation (isn’t that kind of funny, me helping with articulation?). I absolutely hate faculty meetings because there is no good spot for me to hear everyone, and I don’t think they really believe I can’t sometimes. Announcements over the PA? I don’t even bother. I have headaches by the end of the school day, my eyes and brain are so tired from trying to pick up the slack. If my students are on the deaf side and I’m not looking at them, I miss the onset of seizures or asthma attacks. I now dislike talking on the phone. People don’t like watching TV with me because they’re getting headaches. With all of those negatives being said– I have no regrets because now I have a life again. I use the humorous approach to set others at ease and to guide them to an understanding of what I require if I am to communicate with them.

I had no guarantee of any hearing device when I opted for surgery, so getting the Ponto is frosting on the cake! I am so excited!”

Aaron Morris can’t wait to hear sounds he’s never heard before.
“I am looking forward to hearing sounds I’ve probably never heard before. And, I can’t wait to  enjoy surround sound like you’re supposed to. The best this will be being in a crowd of people and being able to hear the person in front of me talk better than the people ten feet away!” You can read more about Aaron’s story here.

Kristi Hurley won’t miss the frustrated looks. 
“The worst thing before my ponto pro why the frustrated looks from people when I’d say “Huh, what, can you repeat that?”

Now I don’t get that anymore…. now that I enjoy sound if only I could remember to take it off before bed, LOL!”

We know that you all have overcome struggles with your hearing loss. If you would like to share your experience, please let me know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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