Tag Archives: Atresia

Parents’ Perspective: The Decision Making Process for Bone Anchored Hearing Systems for Children

So often, parents tell us that they wish they would have had a place to learn more about their child’s hearing loss. With learning more, there are also questions: When is the right time to search for a solution? What goes into your child getting a bone anchored hearing system (BAHS)? With an endless number of considerations along the way, it can be a complex journey.

To help answer your questions and introduce you to two parents who have been through the process, on August 25 at 12:00PM EDT, Audiology Online and Oticon Medical will host the live online event Parents’ Perspective: The Decision Making Process for Bone Anchored Hearing Systems for Children.

In this live online event, you’ll hear from Melissa Tumblin and Ann Pipes. Melissa and Ann, who both dedicate their time to helping others seeking hearing solutions and bettering the hearing industry, are both mothers to children who use BAHS.

Meet Melissa and Ann

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Upgrading Your Bone Anchored Hearing System: Why and How

Like most technology, there’s a lot of conversation around the value of making the leap from one product to another—whether it’s moving to the most recently released product within the same brand, or making a larger change by switching from one manufacturer to another. Your hearing, and quality of life, is at stake.

That’s something we take extremely seriously. So, we wanted to give you a more intimate view into why to consider a bone anchored hearing system upgrade and how to go about getting a new bone anchored hearing system.

What’s an upgrade?

First things first, what is considered an upgrade? There are two different types of upgrades: An upgrade from one Ponto model to another—i.e. switching from the Ponto Pro to the Ponto Plus. And, the second, a change from one device provider to another.

An independent study tested the Ponto against similar bone anchored sound processors, and findings show that two out of three prefer the Ponto.

An independent study tested the Ponto against similar bone anchored sound processors, and findings show that two out of three prefer the Ponto.

While this is terminology that we use, we checked in with community members to see if this makes sense from a bone anchored hearing-user perspective too.

“I usually call both upgrades. And if it’s to a different brand, I say something like, ‘for this upgrade, I switched to…’” – Katie Maslar

“I went from the BP110 Power, to the Ponto Plus Power…that was an upgrade, lol! But, in all seriousness…my insurance calls it an upgrade.” – Nancy Smith Oberman

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Lifting up Luca with the Ponto Plus Power

We all want our hopes and dreams to come to fruition, but what happens when they come to fruition before you’re ready? For Anne and Robert Brooks, their hope and dream was to give birth to a baby boy. This aspiration did come true, but too soon—their son, Luca, was born prematurely at 34 weeks.

As a result of the early delivery, Luca was born with, as well as diagnosed post-birth with Branchio-oto-renal syndrome. Anne and Robert with met with an Audiologist and ENT to learn more about Luca’s condition and potential solutions. After learning about all of the hearing solution options, they set out on a long and tiresome quest over the course of a year that consisted of carefully written emails, letters, and marathon phone calls with their insurance provider. Ultimately, this proved to be a fruitless effort, as they were denied coverage.

During this time, they came across Ear Community and learned met many other families who shared their stories and advice.

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Smiling Brighter Than Ever with Ponto Plus

As a child, one of the most exciting parts of growing up is having every experience be a new experience. Your formative early childhood years are when you first make sense of your senses–learning different tastes, smelling different smells, seeing different sights, touching different textures, and hearing different sounds.

Born in the Philippines with Microtia and Atresia of her right ear, 4-and-a-half year old Annika Silang-Ferrer experienced the world, but she did so with moderate to severe hearing loss.

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Hudson’s Opportunity to Better Communicate with His New Parents

Hudson Yost, born in China, was adopted by American parents at the age of three-and-a-half. Born with Atresia and Microtia, Hudson has profound hearing loss in his left ear and moderate hearing loss in his right ear. Now four years old, despite the challenges of Atresia and Microtia, Hudson has developed a solid vocabulary and can communicate with others.

While learning to communicate in english and forming a strong bond with his new parents, Hudson’s mother, Tammi Yost, wanted him to have every opportunity to develop like any other child. Tammi learned about Ear Community’s donation program, and applied for Hudson to receive a bone anchored hearing system (BAHS).

Hudson’s Story and Bright Smiles

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Two Pontos Help 14-Year-Old Andrew Overcome Maximum Conductive Hearing Loss

Being a teenager is a fun, but it can be hard work too. Andrew Perry, a 14-year-old born with Treacher Collins and Bilateral Microtia and Atresia, has maximum conductive hearing loss in both ears making participation, working in groups of students and hearing class lectures even more draining than it can already be.

“Straining to hear can make someone with a hearing loss tired throughout the day,” says Melissa Tumblin, Founder of Ear Community. The background noise common in rooms full of students made concentration difficult for Andrew. Clyde, Andrew’s father, said that Andrew’s academic performance had declined significantly, and he believed it was because of the difficulty of hearing and following instructions in the classroom.

Here’s how an Audiologist went the extra mile for Andrew, as first told on Ear Community

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2015 Ear Community Microtia and Atresia Summer Family Picnics

In the middle of winter, it’s always fun to look ahead to the summer. Summer time also means it’s time for Ear Community’s Microtia and Atresia Summer Family Picnics. The picnics provide an incredible opportunity for Microtia and Atresia families to come together, share experiences and make new friends. Medical professionals also join in the fun and are available to answer questions and help to educate families on options for hearing loss. Families will even be able to test out the newest state-of-the-art hearing products.

We’re thrilled to once again be a sponsor and an active participant in the picnics. We’ve met so many of you through these amazing events. Here’s where you can learn about some Ear Community connections ahead of the events.

Here are some pictures from last year. 

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Three-Year-Old Ava’s Journey to Hearing

A few months ago, we first introduced you to Shannon and her daughter Ava. Shannon took the time to tell us about her journey in finding out that Ava had hearing loss and what came after. Today, we’re excited to share another milestone in Shannon and Ava’s lives, as told by Melissa Tumblin, Founder of Ear Community.

Meet Ava Katuszonek, an adorable little three year old girl who was born with Microtia and Atresia of her right ear. Ava is a very happy little girl who enjoys playing with friends and is excited to learn the alphabet and begin reading. However, when Ava was about one year old, her mom, Shannon, began noticing her struggling with her hearing. Ava wasn’t always responding to Shannon’s voice when she would call for her. Two years ago, Ava and her parents, Paul and Shannon, attended an Ear Community Microtia and Atresia picnic in Pleasanton, California where they were given the opportunity to learn more about bone conduction hearing devices. Ava’s parents tried to obtain a BAHA for little Ava as soon as they could, but their insurance plan under Kaiser Permanente denied their coverage for a BAHA. Ava’s mother, Shannon, also did not realize there were many options available on the market for BAHAs. Now knowing this information, Ava’s parents continued appealing with their insurance provider in order to help Ava hear better with a BAHA.

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Finding Ear Community After Enter a World of Uncertainty

In honor of the amazing connections that happen at Ear Community’s Microtia and Atresia Summer Picnics, we’ve asked attendees to share their experiences with you here on our blog. This week, you’ll hear from Shannon Katuszonek, a mom who is forever grateful for finding her strength through Ear Community.

Here’s Shannon to tell her story.

We had no idea my daughter, Ava, had a condition. When she was born it was quite the shock. As if learning to understand what her little ear meant wasn’t enough, she was our first child, so we had little frame of reference for newborns in general.

So, we took in whatever information the doctors gave us. We knew she failed the newborn hearing screening test. Then, our Microtia Pediatrician started telling us about the other things that could be wrong with her.  “She could have Goldenhar Syndrome, a heart condition and more. But, we’ll just wait and see how she develops.”

There we were…

You’re looking at this beautiful little baby that you’ve been waiting for, and now you’re so overwhelmed. You can’t enjoy the moment, because you’re so worried about all of the things that might happen.

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A Growing Community: Bone Anchored Hearing System Forums & User Groups

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.

Bone Anchored Hearing System Forums & Groups List

Click to View the List

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