Tag Archives: bone anchored device

Oticon Medical Hosts Annual New Advocates Meeting

Over the weekend of October 11-13, we hosted 40+ attendees — including Ponto wearers and their families — for our annual New Advocates Meeting, which was held at Oticon Medical’s headquarters in Somerset, NJ. A few long-time Ambassadors, including Angela and Sarah Zabel and Kevin Hotaling, also attended in order to share their experiences and provide coaching and inspiration.

Friday night inspiration

We kicked the weekend off with a welcome reception and dinner held at the Bridgewater Marriott where attendees were staying for the weekend. While serving dessert, we conducted a Share Your Story activity during which everyone took a few minutes to introduce themselves and talk about their experiences with hearing loss and journeys to better hearing with Ponto bone anchored hearing systems.

Friday night dinner and story sharing

A busy Saturday schedule

Bright and early Saturday morning, we kicked of a full day of educational panels on topics ranging from Ponto 4: Introduction and Design to New Advances in Bone Anchored Hearing Procedure, all conducted by various Oticon Medical staffers and audiology professionals. Hands-on workshops included how to use Canva to enhance social media posts and how to add visual effects and edit self-made videos. We also introduced Oticon Medical Friends, our exciting new community portal through which wearers will be able to stay in closer contact with our company and one another. Meanwhile, our child wearers and their siblings were kept entertained by Mad Science of West New Jersey and The Lizard Guy and his live animal exhibits.

Mad Science presentation

Saturday night, we took a fun trip together on the Sparkling NYC Skyline Dinner Cruise. Attendees and staff enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner and a couple of loops around New York City before reaching the main attraction — a close-up view of the Statue of Liberty. There was also plenty of time for dancing and fun on-board.

New York skyline by boat

Statue of Liberty


Sunday wrap-up

Sunday morning, we held a panel discussion on Technology and Access, which included a lively Q&A about insurance-related topics. Then Melissa Tumblin and her daughter Aly presented key Oticon Medical staff members with Ear Community Microtia and Atresia Awareness Awards in recognition of all they’ve done to improve the lives of people with these conditions. The weekend concluded with a farewell luncheon, and then everyone headed back home with the knowledge and motivation to be the best possible advocates on behalf of those with hearing challenges.

Aly & Melissa with Pres. John Sparacio

We would like to thank all of our attendees and Ambassadors for sharing their stories and further developing a supportive, tightly connected community!

Click to learn more about Ponto bone anchored hearing systems, including Ponto 4, our smallest and first processor with direct wireless streaming and all the benefits of Oticon’s proven Opn™ technology.

Kris Siwek Picked the Ponto System for Bone Anchored Hearing, Here’s Why

Kris Siwek suddenly lost her hearing after being diagnosed with a tumor at age 29. Here’s how she decided on the Oticon Medical Ponto system, and the results after becoming a long-term user.

“It’s a part of me, and it’s an extension of me. I put it on in the morning and don’t think about it again until I take it off at night, ” Kris explains in the video below.

Want to learn more about Kris’s story? You can read more here and watch our Google+ Hangout On Air with Kris here. Have a question? Let us know in the comments section below.

Robb Boss: Let Go to Overcome

Written by Robb Boss

“Cholesteatoma” – just hearing the condition name without an explanation could make any adult scared for the future. Then, finding out it causes hearing loss adds a whole new layer of fear. But, I was 14 years old. And, even though Cholesteatoma did cause my hearing to deteriorate, I adapted.

At the young age of 14, I learned to stay on a certain side of people so I could hear with my good ear and that just became the norm with me – a natural way that I coped.

Over the past ten years, my hearing in my right ear drastically decreased. It began to affect my personal and professional life. I’m the father of six kids, five of them girls with gentle, soft voices. Conversations and all types of communication were becoming very difficult and exhausting. Not to mention, we all know how important it is for young ladies to be “heard.”

All relationships are built on clear communication. More and more, I didn’t always hear what was being said. I would assume things and fill in the gaps to compensate for what I didn’t actually hear. It got to the point where there was a lot of miscommunication on my part. I would think I heard the whole story and I didn’t.

I discussed my issues with my Otolaryngologist in 2008 and he encouraged me to think about a bone anchored solution. There was something about the permanent nature of that option that made me hesitate. I wasn’t concerned about the surgery, which I knew would be minor. I suppose it was about accepting the fact that I was no longer able to adapt or overcome my hearing loss as I had in the past. Only a handful people knew about my hearing issues. It was very humbling to realize that I might need help that would be so permanent and so visible. I still wasn’t ready to take that step.

Instead, my doctor tried to manipulate the bones in my ear to see if that would improve my situation. It didn’t, and I became increasingly frustrated and exhausted trying to hear people. It was especially difficult communicating with my oldest daughter. She has a tone of voice that I couldn’t hear at all. After asking her for the third time to repeat, she would say, “Never mind.” I realized it was frustrating for me, but even more so for my wife and kids.

My Turning Point

My turning point came while attending a sales conference. My wife and children had come along and were outside at the pool. I went out during one of the breaks and my wife was chatting with a woman who I didn’t know. I walked up and joined the conversation. The woman was actually someone who was with my company but in another division. I thought the conversation was going well. At one point, I couldn’t hear exactly what she said and guessed that she was asking me about my job.

After we had talked for a few minutes, she looked at me and said, half humorously but with a clear message, “Are you in sales? If so, you need to take listening 101.” I was surprised and a little shaken. I had never told anyone at work about my hearing loss. Only my family and close friends knew. I had always managed to overcome and adapt. After that conversation, I began to reconsider the possibility that I might benefit from a bone anchored hearing solution.

My doctor had used bone anchored hearing solutions for his patients for years and was very confident that they could make a positive difference for me. His office was actually converting to the new Ponto System at the time. I considered acting on his recommendations. He had many positive things to say about the Ponto System as “the next generation” of bone anchored solutions. I realized I was a patient that could choose to go with the newest technology.

I did some research online and I liked what I saw. I talked to my audiologist, who was really excited about Ponto Pro’s new technology and Oticon Medical’s experience with hearing instruments and track record of innovation. It was exciting to be one of the first to experience the new innovation in that practice.

In November of 2009, the surgical procedure went well and the recovery was easy. I was ready to experience all of the good things I had heard about Ponto. I have to say that the fitting was pretty amazing. It is almost hard to describe what it was like being able to hear so much more clearly than with the trial band. I could even hear the background noise that most people probably hear all the time, but I hadn’t been able to before. It was truly an incredible sensation.

It was raining on the day I was fitted with Ponto Pro. When I drove home, I could actually hear the ping of the raindrops on my windshield. It was amazing!

A week later I attended a sales meeting in a large boardroom. The door out to the lobby was right behind me. I could hear what was going on in meeting and what was going on behind me in the hotel lobby. It’s really amazing.

Now, I catch myself sitting in a certain spot so I can hear the whole table and then I remember that I don’t have to anymore. Before I had to position myself carefully, and even then I would be staining to hear, old habits are difficult to break. With the directional microphones in my Ponto, I am hearing even more clearly at meetings and larger, noisy gatherings. It is also easier to hear when I’m driving the car and the kids have the radio going and my wife is speaking to me. Now we can talk easily and the experience is more enjoyable for all of us.

I have gone back to my audiologist to fine tune the sound processor to my individual preferences. I like that you can customized the processor for my individual hearing loss and that, if my hearing changes in the future, my Ponto can be readjusted.

It probably took a couple of weeks to really get used to the uniqueness of hearing all of the different sounds. Now I put my Ponto on in the morning and I don’t pay attention to it all day. I’ve actually gotten into the shower by mistake and then remembered I had it on. Wearing my Ponto has become so natural. It almost becomes part of you – and now I know that’s a good thing.

Do you have a story to share? Let us know by filling out this form, we’d love to give you a platform to share your experience with the world.