Educating teachers and children on the importance of using FM systems in the classroom came up many times at our Patient Advocacy Workshop. Here’s a great video by St. John’s Medical Center that does just that. This is a great tool that shows the difference a FM system can make for a child with hearing loss. Share it with your children and their teachers.
Kevin Hotaling is a sophomore at Stonehill College who got his Ponto Plus on October 13, 2014. When we saw Kevin’s video, we just had to meet him. We knew you’d feel the same.
So, here’s Kevin to tell you a bit of his story:
I originally found out about Ponto through one of my mother’s coworkers. She didn’t have the Ponto, but she had a very similar bone anchored hearing aid procedure done, and she’s had results that were nothing short of stellar. I was nervous originally. Although surgery was nothing new to me, the idea of someone drilling into my skull was very unsettling. In addition to that, I hadn’t heard of any people my age who had ever gotten the procedure done. I had only ever heard of adults and small children owning the system, never a teenager. I was given the opportunity to test the device using a headband, and immediately, I noticed a massive difference in my hearing quality.
We commonly get questions about the differences in various hearing solutions. It’s important to note that there are different options based on individual conditions and needs. The same solution isn’t right for everyone. While Oticon Medical currently specializes in bone anchored hearing systems, we’re here to help you navigate your options.
Today, we’re going to look at the differences between Cochlear Implants and Bone Anchored Hearing Systems. To do so, we brought in Oticon Medical’s Clinical Regional Manager and one of our top Audiologists, Alison Sabbar.
We’re sharing one of our greatest assets– a list of online bone anchored hearing system forums and user groups. The communities on this list have helped so many, and they’ve helped us connect with you. With so many people looking for communities of others who can help them get answers and support, we’ve now made this list public. Better yet, we’re asking you to help us add to the list and grow it even further. Read on for access and to get the full scoop on how it works.
Meet Amy Mackey. Amy is a two-time survivor of cholesteatomas and a Ponto Plus and Ponto Streamer wearer. Amy is a writer, so we could think of no better way for her to share her story than her written words below. We’ll also be hosting a live online discussion with Amy on Thursday, May 1 at 1pm EST– RSVP here.
I’m a Bilateral Cholesteatoma Survivor
By Amy Mackey
As an infant and small child I suffered from repeated ear infections. I remember my mother used to back me up against the refrigerator to give me nose drops instead of the now used ear drops. She always told me she knew when I had an ear infection; my attitude went south. Under the age of five I participated in a group study for bilateral myringotomy (tubes in both ears). From what I understand I was the only one in the control group to not outgrow my ear problems. Over my tender years I had repeated myringotomies, doses of antibiotics, ear drum lancing and occasionally my ear drums would burst on their own from the pressure of fluids.
Meet Chris Mennan. Chris developed single-sided hearing in the year 2000. Soon after, he joined a community support group for the deaf and hard of hearing. He did home visits and talks to people about hearing loss and coping with hearing loss. With that experience, Chris began working in the repair clinic at the hospitals in his local area. He volunteered for nine years, visiting three clinics a week. Last year, he received a position as a technical officer in Audiology. All this is quite a contrast to the 25 years he spent as a police officer, 17 years of which he was a dog handler. As Chris puts it, “the people I saw then were never as happy as the people I see now.” Here’s Chris to tell more of his story…
My Journey in Finding a Single-Sided Hearing Solution
By Chris Mennan
It all happened very fast. One night about 14 years ago, I awoke to loud popping and banging noises in my ear. Even after seeking medical help, within a week, my left ear ceased to function whatsoever, and I was left with very loud tinnitus.
“Tinnitus (TIN-ih-tus) is noise or ringing in the ears. A common problem, tinnitus affects about 1 in 5 people.”
Alison Sabbar discusses the wireless technology capabilities of the Ponto Plus, including the Ponto Streamer, the device that makes all of this connectivity possible. Now, individuals with single-sided deafness and conductive hearing loss can get the wireless capabilities that they want and need.
The Ponto Streamer has a wireless coil that picks up audio signals and transmits them directly to the Ponto Plus, turning the Ponto Plus into a wireless headset. The Ponto Streamer connects to audio devices such as cellphones, TVs, MP3 players, landline phones and more.
Another accessory, the ConnectLine microphone, clips onto a speaker, so the speaker’s voice can be transmitted directly to the Ponto Plus processor. It’s ideal for school and work settings.
Here’s Alison to describe more about the Ponto Plus, Ponto Streamer and wireless capabilities.
Connie Kehoe, a seasoned Oticon Medical Ponto Pro user, explains how taking the steps to improve her hearing was a chance for bold new adventures.
After experiencing 20 years of hearing loss, Connie was ready to overcome to exhaustion of working to hear people in groups and in noise filled environments– including her own grandchildren.
Learn more about the Ponto Plus here. Do you have questions for Connie? Let us know in the comments section below.
You may have read Jim’s story on the Oticon Medical website. But, there’s nothing like hearing the story directly from the source. Here’s how Jim describes his experience, and his advice to those looking to try a bone anchored hearing system.
I’ve counseled over 70 people individually in the last two years, plus many others at user meetings and online groups. When you read my story, you’ll see that a doctor’s error caused my Single-Sided Deafness (SSD). It took me some time to get over that and focus my energy on overcoming my deafness.
Fortunately, my doctor got another user to advise me. When everything eventually worked out well, I made up my mind to help other people like she helped me.
I had my surgery in early May 2010. When I decided to have the surgery, I chose the Ponto. I always tell people who are considering bone anchored hearing systems to do what I did– try both manufacturers. I tried both the Cochlear and the Oticon Medical units on a headband, and I felt that I got more intelligible volume with the Oticon Medical Ponto Pro. Second, I thought it looked much better and was easier to conceal in my hair, which I wanted to do.
Since then, with all the users groups I’ve participated in, I’ve developed a list of many benefits that the Ponto has over others.
In 2011, I acted as a tester for Oticon Medical’s new Ponto Pro Power while it was in development. Because I was a tester, and because I had become very active in their user groups, I got to keep my prototype Ponto Pro Power unit.
I can tell you that the Ponto Pro Power has even better volume and has zero feedback issues– it was a great addition to the Oticon Medical product offering.
As a potential Oticon Medical customer, current user thinking of upgrading or a parent looking for a solution, you can send me any questions you have about surgery, the processors, insurance….whatever, I’ll be pleased to answer them.
Are you thinking of getting an upgraded processor? There’s no better time than now, we now have a special offer.