Are you interested in getting your hands (and ears) on two packs of free batteries for your bone anchored hearing device?
We thought you might be!
We want to hear from you! There’s no better way to create great products than to get real feedback from the people who know your products best. So, for a few minutes of your time, we’ll give you two packs of free batteries for your device.
We’ve shared quite a bit about our favorite comic book hero, Blue Ear. Blue Ear is a Marvel comic book character inspired by Ponto Plus wearer Anthony Smith. When 6-year old Anthony asked his mom if any superheroes wore hearing devices, Christina D’Allesandro reached out to Marvel. Marvel went to work and created an official comic book centered around Blue Ear, a superhero who uses his special listening device to help people in trouble.
Marvel has provided us with 25 copies of the official–and admittedly hard to get–Blue Ear comic book, and we’re thrilled to announce that we’re giving them away through a new contest! Like Blue Ear, we know that #SoundMatters to you.
As Tim recalls, Anthony’s mother, Christina D’Allesandro, reached out to Marvel through their general email. Despite all of the requests that Marvel gets as one of the world’s most prominent entertainment companies with a library of over 8,000 characters, they didn’t take her request lightly.
Bill Rosemann, a Marvel editor, took special notice. He artist Manny Mederos and Trades Department Editor Nelson Ribeiro, sent the D’Allesandro family comic book covers featuring their very own versions of honorary Avenger Blue Ear, inspired by Anthony. Then, Mederos did a team up sketch between Blue Ear and Hawkeye, who suffered hearing loss as an Avenger. This started the life and adventures of Blue Ear, who’s now an official Marvel character and stars in his own one-shot (for now) comic book.
While Marvel works to support as many people as possible, they’d never done it in exactly this way before. For example, Tim mentioned Marvel’s character, Captain Citrus, in support of Florida orange growers and to encourage a healthier diet for children.
Weesie Pals are custom stuffed animals that can be made to have a little ear and stuffed toy bone anchored hearing device. Weesie Pals are created by Erin Wozniak who was inspired by her daughter Elyse. Elyse, who’s nickname is Weesie, was born with left-side Microtia and Atresia, meaning her ear did not fully develop. Elyse, now two years old, wears a Ponto Pro on a softband.
“When Elyse was an infant, I wanted her to have some type of toy that she could identify with and a way to reinforce her wearing the Bone Anchored Hearing System (BAHS). Also, you can take the device off of the stuffed animal and put it on anything– even someone else. Even mommy can wear it!”
When Erin made the first Weesie Pal, a mouse, Elyse loved it and wouldn’t put it down. As an artist and art teacher, Erin is always making things but oil painting and drawing are her expertise. When it came to sewing, she taught herself. She’s a quick study, because now there are a variety of options.
On October 31, after a several-month-long battle, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ruled that Bone Anchored Hearing Systems and auditory osseointegrated implants (AOIs) will remain a covered benefit for Medicare enrollees with qualifying indications.
As many of you know and have experienced, Bone Anchored Hearing Systems (BAHS) are an important and life-changing tool to fight against hearing loss that cannot be duplicated by traditional hearing aids. More than 100,000 people are currently benefitting from a BAHS.
Note: Mark Ruffalo is not a Ponto user, and he is not endorsing Oticon Medical’s products. He has gone through the experience of having an acoustic neuroma– that’s why we are sharing his incredible story.
There’s a number of Bone Anchored Hearing System users who have been through the experience of overcoming an Acoustic Neuroma. The diagnosis can be shocking and overwhelming. Today, we’re shedding more light on Acoustic Neuromas with information from the Acoustic Neuroma Association— including an incredible video account of actor Mark Ruffalo’s experience.
First things first, what is an Acoustic Neuroma? According to the Acoustic Neuroma Association: “An acoustic neuroma, known as a vestibular schwannoma, is a benign (non-cancerous) growth that arises on the eighth cranial nerve leading from the brain to the inner ear. This nerve has two distinct parts, one part associated with transmitting sound and the other with sending balance information to the brain from the inner ear. The eighth nerve, along with the facial or seventh cranial nerve, lie adjacent to each other as they pass through a bony canal called the internal auditory canal. This canal is approximately 2 cm (0.8 inches) long. It is generally here that acoustic neuromas originate from the sheath surrounding the eighth nerve. The seventh or facial nerve provides motion to the muscles of facial expression.”
Acoustic Neuromas are typically slow growing over time. Continued tumor growth that goes untreated may threaten neurological function and even life. The treatment options are observation, surgical removal or radiation.
Actor Mark Ruffalo knows the experience of having an Acoustic Neuroma all too well. After having a nightmare about having a brain tumor, Mark went to the doctor knowing his request for an MRI would sound paranoid. But to everyone’s surprise, except for Mark, he was right.
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.
Bethany Geldmaker has an incredible story. Paired with the impactful way that she advocates for the importance of bone anchored hearing systems and her mission to educate others on the process of getting coverage for their bone anchored hearing systems, she’s one of the most powerful voices in the community. Recently, Bethany has accelerated her efforts even more to bring awareness to the changes that The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have proposed that could eliminate coverage for bone anchored hearing devices in 2015.
Our collective rebuttal to the proposed changes must be education that helps people understand just how important it is to keep coverage for bone anchored hearing systems. That’s exactly what Bethany has been doing. She’s been doing this in three key ways:
Working to heighten public awareness
Encouraging others to educate themselves on solution options
Getting information and education in the hands of insurance providers
Here’s Bethany to explain how she works to accomplish these three goals.
How long have bone anchored hearing systems been around? How are Oticon and Oticon Medical different? Where is the person I’m speaking to when I call customer support? These are all questions we’ve heard. So, we created a list of facts about both bone anchored hearing systems and Oticon Medical.
Thirty years ago, Guy Kawasaki was the chief evangelist for Apple. As he explains it, “When I saw what Macintosh could do, the clouds parted and the angels started singing.” Since leaving Apple, Guy has founded several companies (including software developers ACIUS and Fog City Software, venture capital fund Garage Technology Ventures, and online magazine rack Alltop), established a career in consulting and public speaking, and written twelve books. Currently he is the chief evangelist of an online graphic design service called Canva.
Today, we’re focusing on a lesser known fact– Guy is also a Ponto user. Guy sat down with us to share more about his experience with hearing loss, his light-hearted perspective on having Ménière’s disease and his passion for social media.
If you’ve read one of Guy’s twelve books, his blog or one of the many articles he’s written or been featured in, you may have heard him mention Ménière’s disease. For Guy and many others, it came along with hearing loss, tinnitus and vertigo. “I have Ménière’s disease, and one symptom is tinnitus, so I listen to ringing in my ears 24/7 x 365. But, for me, the vertigo was the worst.”