Category Archives: Community

Naven thrives with the help of his Ponto 3 and Ear Community

Naven Ramirez, BMA age 5 of the Philippines, receives (2) newly donated Oticon Medical Ponto 3’s on October 6th, 2017

Naven R. Osic is a five-year-old boy from the Philippines who was born with bilateral Microtia and Atresia. After learning that her son was born missing both his ears, Naven’s mother Donna, worried about how he would adjust to life and what impact this hearing loss would have on him. As Naven got older and began attending a daycare school, he struggled to hear his teachers, keep up with lessons, and make friends.

Donna decided to take action and meet with an ENT at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) where she received heartbreaking news – without the appropriate hearing device, Naven’s speech, and hearing would continue to decline and he would continue to struggle socially and academically. Further testing showed that Naven had moderate to severe conductive hearing loss and would need bilateral bone conduction devices to help him hear.

Seeking assistance, Naven’s audiologists reached out to Ear Community and on October 6, 2017 he was fitted with two brand new Oticon Medical Ponto 3 hearing devices, donated through Ear Community. Naven now has the auditory tools he needs to thrive and hear his best. 

Naven now is very happy, he clearly hear(s) what we are saying. He can easily keep up (with) the lesson when he is at school – Donna

To read the full story, visit Ear Community and learn more.

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Learn how Heidi Jeffs chose the Ponto 3 for her daughter Rosalee and became an advocate in the hearing loss community

We hear time and time again from parents of Ponto users that doing research into all the hearing options available is the best way to make the most informed decision. For Heidi Jeffs, research into different hearing groups is what led her to not only find the best hearing solution for her five-year-old daughter Rosalee but become an advocate in the hearing loss community.

Rosalee was born with microtia and atresia on her left side and fit with a bone anchored hearing device on a soft band given to her by her audiologist.

“We met with our audiologist and wanted her to have a device. We didn’t know any different or know of other options.”

Shortly after, Heidi learned about Ear Community, a non-profit organization that offers a supportive community for individuals born with microtia and atresia, and other varying degrees of hearing loss.

The community, which was started by Melissa Tumblin whose daughter Ally was born with microtia and atresia, provides support through their online Facebook group as well as annual picnics around the country.

Through her involvement with Ear Community, Heidi began meeting other parents and bone anchored hearing system (BAHS) users and found that feedback was a common issue.

“We were having a lot of feedback issues. Some moms were commiserating about it and then there was one mom whose daughter had bilateral Pontos and she was like ‘what are you guys talking about?’ The woman said her daughter could lay on a pillow with her Pontos on and it wouldn’t squeal. So I started looking into the Ponto devices.”

The Ear Community picnics were where Heidi became familiar with Oticon Medical and her daughter was able to try on a Ponto device for the first time.

“It didn’t sound echoey. It was just clear. I was flat out convinced. Then the more and more that I learned about the company I was even more impressed. It really felt like Oticon Medical stood by their motto ‘People First’.”

When it was time for Rosalee to upgrade, she tested the Ponto 3 on a softband and said yes to switching to the Ponto. Heidi notes that before, it was difficult to get Rosalee to wear her device, but since switching she hasn’t complained once about the softband being uncomfortable or sore, making the transition very easy and enjoyable.

“Between the quality of products and the integrity of the company, it is so far above the others out there.

Since beginning this hearing care journey with her daughter, Heidi has served on the board of Ear Community for three years and is now a full-time staff member. Additionally, she served on the board for the Idaho Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and was chosen as a parent representative for Idaho to attend the EHDI conference – an early hearing detection and intervention event. To all parents looking to learn about hearing options for themselves or their child with hearing loss, she recommends trying all your options, on your child and yourself, to help you make the best decision for your family.

 

Are you interested in learning about the Ponto 3 SuperPower and how it can provide early support for children and adults with hearing loss? Click below to be connected to a representative from our team.

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“I kindly demanded an upgrade” – How Jillian, Hazel’s mother, advocated for Hazel to get a Ponto 3 SuperPower

Hazel Shelton was born with bilateral Microtia and moderate mixed hearing loss. She was unaided until she was 18 months and adopted by the Shelton family. After trying a number of hearing devices and experiencing issues with feedback, her mother Jillian decided to conduct her own research and become an advocate for her daughter.

She began speaking to other bone anchored hearing system users online and in a number of Facebook groups which is where she learned about the Ponto 3 SuperPower.

“I watched a video of a daughter laying in her mother’s arms wearing the Ponto and there was no feedback. I started to look in the Facebook groups and hands down, Ponto won.”

Jillian traveled to California to attend the Earicles Los Angeles Microtia Atresia conference to take her research further. After meeting with a number of doctors and experts, she returned home and “kindly demanded” an upgrade for her daughter.

Hazel has now been using her Ponto 3 SuperPower on a softband for two weeks. In the video below, Jillian demonstrates just how big of a difference her Ponto is making in her life.

“My daughter’s sentences have exploded. Not just one or two words but sentences and she’s only had them on for two weeks! The feedback is not there – when she gives me a hug, sits in her car seat, or wears her hair down. She grabs the Ponto first thing in the morning and wears it until she falls asleep at night. Hands down, Ponto is the way to go.”

If you’d like to learn more about how the Ponto 3 SuperPower can provide early support for children and adults with hearing loss, click below to be connected to a representative from our team.

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A ‘super’ day for Kavya Sharma thanks to Ear Community and Oticon Medical donation

Kavya Sharma is almost two years old and lives in New Delhi, India. She had a difficult start in life, being born with bilateral Microtia and Atresia as well as Hemifacial Microsomia and a hole in her heart. These conditions brought her to the hospital often for feeding tubes and oxygen therapy. Today, Kavya has recovered from many of her health related issues, except one – her ability to hear.

In the Spring of 2017, her mother Savita Sharma, reached out to Ear Community looking for help. With bilateral Microtia and Atresia, Kavya struggled with speech development and couldn’t hear her parents. They worried about her ability to make friends and how she would be able to learn and attend school. After consulting with a specialist in New Delhi, it was suggested that a bone conduction device could be the answer.

On June 5, 2017, Kavya received two brand new Ponto 3 SuperPowers from Oticon Medical that were donated through the Ear Community. With the help and donated time of Dr. Niraj Kumar at the AIMS hospital in Safdarjung, Delhi, India Kavya was fitted and now has the auditory tools she needs to move forward.

“This precious little girl has already struggled to get to where she is, and we are thrilled to be able to help her on her journey.” – Melissa Tumblin, Founder of Ear Community.

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My Ponto 3 SuperPower “Snap Day!”

Since the Ponto 3 SuperPower came out in January, I’ve been itching to get my own. After seeing so many faces of children and adults alike light up after popping their SuperPowers on for the first time, I knew I had to have mine. Recently, that day came for my own ‘snap day’ with my new Ponto 3 SuperPower!

When I got my first Ponto Plus in the summer of my sophomore year of college, the very first sounds that I heard were those of a doctor’s office in Boston. Though that experience was wonderful, I wanted to go the extra mile when I snapped on my Ponto 3 SuperPower for the first time.

A big part of my life in college is singing for the Stonehill College Chapel Choir. Its members are some of the most important people in my life, and I wanted very much to share this experience with them. I have been with them since my freshman year, and now that I am graduating, we are having a lot of ‘lasts’ together. I figured it was about time for another ‘first!” So, the first thing I wanted to hear with my new Ponto was their beautiful voices singing one of our favorite songs; and we got it on camera! Take a look:


To have felt such overwhelming excitement and joy from being able to hear so clearly was remarkable. Every day, I’m astounded by the number of lives that this device has the power to change for the better. I couldn’t be more thankful to the creators of this device; the people who gave my hearing back to me!

 

Want to learn more about the Ponto family of processors? Click the button below to be connected to a representative from our team.

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About the author – Kevin Hotaling

After attending Oticon Medical’s patient advocacy event in 2016, I knew I wanted to take action on my advocacy in a new way. I am in awe of the work that Oticon Medical does, and even more so excited by the ways in which the work is done. I’ve always been very adept in social networking and media and knew I wanted to use my skill set in a professional, progressive and communal environment.

 

The Power of Conversation with the Ponto 3 SuperPower

Every Ponto user has their own story about their upgrade day and we love hearing about them! The latest comes from one of our advocates, Ross Wiseman, as he shares his experience upgrading to the Ponto 3 SuperPower earlier this week!

Here’s what he had to say:

I upgraded on Wednesday to the Ponto P3SP. It was great having present Lindzee Weeks and Justin Pfeiffer from Oticon Medical along with my Audiologist Lesa Kagan from Wellstar ENT. These are truly “People First” representatives in the world of the hearing impaired.

I waited a couple of days to post because I wanted to test it out in two challenging environments. Wednesday night we had a dinner event at church and the P3SP worked great. Last night I had a meeting with 7 people at a very noisy and packed restaurant. I was seated to the far side of the table with my deaf ear to everyone. In these situations my Ponto Power Plus would do a decent job, but there would be a sense that i needed to focus to really hear what was going on.

Last night I was blown away by the P3SP. During the course of 2.5 hours I completely got lost in the conversation and totally forgot that I was being aided to literally hear everything at the table except for the person directly across from me. The speech recognition was on point and deciphered through all the noise to deliver an experience like I never thought possible again.

I didn’t think Oticon could improve on my last device, but the clarity and naturalness was remarkable. People need to give themselves a chance to try out this device before choosing their solution. Oticon Medical’s products and service are making me a fan for life for sure!

Check out Ross’ video below for a sneak peek of his reaction after hearing with his Ponto 3 Super Power for the first time!

 

Want to learn more about the Ponto 3 SuperPower? Click the button below to be connected to a representative from our team.

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4 Tips for Traveling with Your Ponto

I’ve been doing some traveling recently and was reminded of some of the unique considerations I have as a Ponto user. All the elements of travel, from packing to making it through security, can be stressful for anyone if they’re not prepared. So on my latest trip, I made a mental note of all the things I do—or should do—to make traveling with my Ponto easy and stress-free. 

Here are a few tips based on my recent travels:

1. Pack smart

First, packing everything you’ll need in the right places is essential. For example, I usually take two packs of batteries; one in my carry-on and the other in my checked luggage. That keeps me covered in case my bags are lost or I need fresh batteries in-flight.

Also, don’t forget to pack any accessories or attachments you may need. Things like Streamers, dehumidifiers, charging units, and protective cases can be easy to overlook when packing, but you’ll be glad you have them when you’re on the road!

2. Going through security

Going through airport security as a Ponto user isn’t much different than it is for anyone else. My Ponto has never set off any alarms or caused any problems, however, I have been asked about it on several occasions.

Typically, security personnel just want to know about the device and how it functions. It’s also important to point out that it doesn’t utilize a cellular signal, which I’ve been asked about before. It’s also possible that an agent will ask you to remove your processor and send it through the x-ray along with your carry-on items. This won’t harm your processor, so no need to worry if you’re asked to do this.

3. In-flight experience

Wearing your Ponto on the plane is a personal preference, but there are a few things to think about before you stow away your bags. If you like to sleep during flights, for example, you may want to take off your processor as it may not be as comfortable.

If, on the other hand, you like to watch movies or listen to music, be sure to have extra batteries and accessories readily available. When I’m not sleeping, I like using my Streamer, which utilizes Bluetooth, to listen to music or watch movies.

When it comes to sound quality, I’ve never experienced any changes in performance with my Ponto. In fact, I’ve found that because my bone-anchored hearing system doesn’t fall victim to the familiar popping and pressure during take-off and landing, I’m still able to hear rather normally. An added bonus!

4. Check the weather

A sunny forecast doesn’t just mean packing extra sunblock. Climate is an important factor in caring for your device while you’re away from home. Warm, humid climates won’t harm your Ponto, however, as with any electronic device, it’s best to avoid excessive moisture and don’t forget to take off your processor before jumping in the pool!

Have you had any experience traveling with your Ponto? Share your thoughts with me on Twitter or Instagram.

Want to learn more about the Ponto family of processors? Click the button below to be connected to a representative from our team.

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About the author

After attending Oticon Medical’s patient advocacy event in 2016, I knew I wanted to take action on my advocacy in a new way. I am in awe of the work that Oticon Medical does, and even more so excited by the ways in which the work is done. I’ve always been very adept in social networking and media and knew I wanted to use my skill set in a professional, progressive and communal environment.

The Journey to the Best Hearing in the Classroom

Many of our Ponto users who are children have experienced positive change, particularly in the classroom. If you’re considering aiding your child with a hearing device it’s important to understand how louder environments, like classrooms or playgrounds, can affect a hearing device.

Melissa Tumblin, founder of Ear Community, whose daughter Ally is a Ponto user shares some great insight on setting your child up for success in the classroom.

Ally Tumblin wearing her Ponto Plus on a Softband

Ally has a severe hearing loss in her right ear (65dB-70dB). She was tested at a 65dB hearing
loss yesterday. Ally was tested while wearing her BAHS (Ponto Plus) made by Oticon Medical in the booth and her hearing with the hearing device is brought back up to the normal hearing range (between 15dB to 20dB)….which has been the norm for us over the years with her testing and Ponto.

However, this time the audiologist chose to include noise interference in the sound booth – lots of background noise to see how well Ally could hear and covered her mouth when saying words and sentences to Ally, asking her to repeat them back to her. Well, even when aided, her hearing dropped to 56% (when it was in the normal hearing range without background noise) because of all of the noise. But then, the audiologist added Ally’s FM system back in and also removed the card from her mouth so Ally could see her lips when she spoke to her and her hearing response went back up to 96%! (which is great!)

So, the lesson learned here for those of you who are considering aiding your child (or yourself) with a hearing device is that hearing devices help amplify sound and help make things louder, so you can hear better. When extra noise is added to your daily activities, it can still be difficult to hear everything. However, when you combine an FM system (such as to help your child hear better in the school classroom), and your child is being taught how to be a “visual” learner and be aware to always be looking, watching and reading lips, then together….all of these things help optimize your child’s maximum potential to hear his/her very best.

I see such a difference with her and her Ponto, every day! Thank you Oticon Medical! Thank you for helping my daughter hear her best with her Ponto Plus!

Want to learn more about our newest addition to the Ponto family of processors? Click the button below to be connected to a representative from our team.

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2017 Ear Community Microtia and Atresia Summer Family Picnics

It’s that time of year again when the weather gets warmer and we start making our summer plans! We’re thrilled to once again be sponsors and participants in the Ear Community’s Microtia and Atresia Summer Family Picnics.

Every year, Ear Community hosts picnics all around the world helping bring Microtia and Atresia families together to share experiences and make new friends. Medical professionals such as Microtia and Atresia repair surgeons, anaplastologists, ENT’s, audiologists, and therapists along with hearing device companies all come together at the events to educate and inform attendees of their options. The picnics are free and provide lunch and family friendly activities.

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This year’s picnics will take place in the following locations around the U.S.:

Maryland Ear Community Picnic
Annapolis, Maryland
Date:  Saturday June 10th, 2017
Time:  11AM to 3PM
RSVP to Heidi at:  AnnapolisEarCommunityPicnic@gmail.com

Texas Ear Community Picnic
Austin, Texas

Date:  Saturday, June 10th, 2017
Time:  11AM to 3PM
RSVP to Heidi at:  AustinEarCommunityPicnic@gmail.com

Colorado Ear Community Picnic
Broomfield, Colorado
Date:  Saturday June 24th, 2017
Time:  11AM to 3PM
RSVP to Melissa at:  ColoradoMicrotia@hotmail.com

New York Ear Community Picnic
Ardsley, New York
Date:  Saturday, July 22nd, 2017
Time:  11AM to 3PM
RSVP to Heidi at:  ArdsleyEarCommunityPicnic@gmail.com

Florida Ear Community Picnic
Fort Pierce, Florida
Date:  Saturday, July 22nd, 2017
Time:  11AM to 3PM
RSVP to Heidi at:  FortPierceEarCommunityPicnic@gmail.com

Tennessee Ear Community Picnic
Nashville, Tennessee
Date:  Saturday, July 22nd, 2017
Time:  1PM to 5PM
RSVP to Melissa at:  TennesseeEarCommunityPicnic@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you there!

“We’re Just Trying To Do What’s Best for Him” – A Parent’s Perspective

Davin is 8 years old and was born with bilateral microtia and atresia. In the video below, Davin and his mother, Shannon Gordon, talk about his hearing journey with his Ponto’s and their experience with the new Ponto 3 SuperPower.

“Davin’s hearing is one of the most important things in our life and we’re just trying to do what’s best for him.” – Shannon

Interested in learning more about the Ponto 3 SuperPower? Click the button below to be connected to a representative from our team.

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