Since we are in the midst of the busiest travel season of the year again, it seems like a good time to reshare this blog post. Even when not traveling, you might want to download the MRI Safety Security card just to have on hand, in case you ever find yourself in need of an MRI scan.
As the holiday season begins, so does the opportunity for travel. If you are traveling this season, here are a few things to consider if you have a Ponto™ bone anchored hearing system (BAHS).
Airport and TSA security
It is important to advise the TSA agent prior to going through the security or x-ray process that you have an implantable device. At this time, you may consider handing or showing them your MRI Safety Security card. If you don’t have a card or can’t find it, you can download the MRI Safety Card from our website. Cards are available there in different languages, along with other helpful informational materials. We recommend printing or saving the card to your phone prior to travel.
As you prepare for your trip, another great resource to check out is Oticon Medical’s Tips and Tricks section of the website. In this section you will find information and advice on everyday activities with your Ponto system.
Additional Ponto device and abutment safety considerations
The abutment is made from titanium and safe to go through the metal detector or x-ray machine. Since titanium is weakly magnetic, the security system’s alarm will most likely not go off. However, it is still a good idea and important to let the TSA agent know ahead of time about your Ponto and implant in the event that additional screening is necessary after your initial pass through the x-ray process.
As for your Ponto processor, since it does contain a magnet, this may set off an alarm. We always recommend that when exposed to medical-strength x-ray you remove your processor to prevent damage. However, TSA screenings have low dose x-ray exposure and are safe to move through. So, if you forget to take it off there is no harm, but you may set off the alarm as the Ponto processor contains metal.
If you choose to take off your Ponto processor, simply put it in a case with the battery door open and in a TSA container for the belt screening, as you do your other carry-on items. This is safe for the processor and will not cause damage.
Items to bring on a trip with your Ponto processor
When traveling with your Ponto, you want to make sure you have packed all your equipment and extra supplies. It is a good idea to bring extra batteries, your wireless accessories, and the appropriate cables for charging them. Consider charging your accessories the night or day before you leave to ensure you can use them while traveling.
It is also important to pack your Ponto Care Kit for cleaning the abutment. Daily care of the abutment site will help guarantee you can use your Ponto BAHS throughout your travels. Abutment cleaning is especially important if you are swimming. Remember, your Ponto processor is not waterproof! If you need a new dry aid kit or Ponto Care Kit, don’t worry; simply register with Oticon Medical Friends to order from the Online Store and have supplies sent directly to your home.
You can also have Ponto-related information at your fingertips by downloading the Oticon Medical Ponto Care™ App to your smartphone, so you can travel with ease and peace of mind. Remember to also store your audiologist’s or clinic’s office information in your phone or have it written in your care kit in case you have questions. You can also contact Oticon Medical Auditory Technical Services for any questions regarding your Ponto sound processor. We are available Monday – Friday, 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern Time.
Finally, if you are traveling somewhere very warm or cold, you should remember not to leave your Ponto sound processor, wireless accessories, or batteries out in extreme weather elements. For example, if you leave your Ponto sound processor on the car dashboard in extreme heat, it could damage the device. Also, if the batteries are left in extremely cold temperatures, they might freeze and have a shorter lifespan.
Oticon Medical wishes you and your loved ones a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season!
Here’s a quick checklist of the items we discussed. Enjoy your travels, wherever they may take you!
- MRI safety/security card
- Extra batteries
- Carrying case
- Wireless accessories
- Charging cables for accessories
- Ponto Care Kit
- Your audiologist’s office contact information
- Oticon Medical Contact Information: 888-277-8014 or [email protected]
- Download our Oticon Medical Ponto Care App
Helpful site to review prior to travel:
Disabilities and Medical Conditions | Transportation Security Administration (tsa.gov)
(Choose External Medical Devices and/or the Implants/internal medical devices for more advice.)
About the author
Nicole Maxam, AuD, CCC-A serves as an Auditory Technical Specialist at Oticon Medical. She has been an audiologist for over 16 years with experience in implantable technologies.