Tag Archives: children

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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The Gift of Hearing Travels to Africa

We’d like to introduce you to someone very special!

Meet Raheeg Abdelrahman, a four-year-old girl living in Sudan with her younger twin siblings, her mother, and her father, Eltahir.

Raheeg was born with bilateral Microtia and Atresia, and when her family couldn’t find a suitable hearing device in Sudan, they traveled to Egypt to meet with an audiologist who they hoped could help them find a solution. Unfortunately, the family was unable to find an affordable solution and were forced to return home without a device for Raheeg.

That’s when we heard about Raheeg and her family through our friends at the Ear Community and partnered with them to provide two Oticon Medical Ponto Plus hearing devices for her.

The devices were sent to Egypt where Raheeg was fitted with her devices with great results:

 “She can answer our call easily and surely this will help her to receive her lessons like other kids…it is difficult to get words to express my thanks but I say God bless you!

Please convey my deepest heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of Oticon Medical staff for the help and support they provide to everybody in our Ear Community, and special thanks for Mr. Alan Raffauf, Tove Rosenbom, and Claus Frees Horneman…THANKS to YOU dear friends for giving me hope that my daughter can go to school, hearing sounds and practice her life like other kids.  Thank you for making my impossible dream become real!”

– Eltahir Abdelrahman

We’re honored to have had the opportunity to help provide the gift of hearing to another individual with hearing loss and are thankful for our friends at the Ear Community for sharing Raheeg’s story with us!

If you’d like to learn more about Raheeg and Microtia and Atresia, the Ear Community blog is a great resource!

We’re Celebrating National Microtia Awareness Day

November 9th is dedicated to spreading hope and knowledge around a congenital birth defect, Microtia, microtia-national-awareness-daywhich occurs when the ear has not been fully developed in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Often affecting one or both ears, Microtia is diagnosed at birth, but there is no understanding as to why it occurs. A Microtia ear is smaller in size, can have a peanut shaped appearance, and is often accompanied by Atresia. Atresia, also known as aural atresia, is the absence or closure of the external auditory ear canal.

Microtia occurs in 1 of every 6,000 to 12,000 births, and in some regions, the condition is rare enough that it can be difficult to find relevant information and support. At Oticon Medical, we’re proud to say that our Bone Anchored Hearing System (BAHS) has helped people affected by Microtia and Atresia. As we celebrate Microtia Awareness Day today, we hope to promote public awareness and hope for future generations.

To learn more about Microtia and Atresia and explore helpful resources please visit the Ear Community.
national-microtia-awareness-day-3

FM Systems in the Classroom

Happy back to school season! This time of year, we see many questions about FM systems in the classroom. Recently, a Ponto user and advocate sent this question our way. So, we wanted to take the opportunity to share an answer from one of our top audiologists.

Here’s the question: 

“Does anyone have any experience with FM systems? My son is in the first grade, and he has bilateral BAHAs. The school ordered the Amigo for him over the summer, at that time he had the slightly older model Ponto (the Pro I believe). He had surgery to place abutments over the summer and to our surprise we received two new hearing aids with the surgery. I also got a Streamer. The Amigo isn’t wireless and doesn’t seem to be as compatible with the Ponto Plus as the Streamer.

Does anyone have experience with the different FM systems especially in the classroom setting? I have been told in the past that when FM is on, the hearing aid only picks up sound transmitted to microphone and blocks all other surrounding sound and I have been told that isn’t true. Neither of these people used the FM themselves. Can anyone who has a BAHA share?”

Enter one of Oticon Medical’s top Audiologists, Laura Phelps. Here’s Laura’s answer:

Ponto Plus and Ponto Streamer banner 1The Amigo is an FM system and is wireless. It’s likely that the Amigo FM receiver that would be used with the Ponto Pro (the older device) is the Amigo R2BA, which has 3 pins of same length, and plugs into the DAI port on the Ponto processor. This is probably what was ordered by the school over the summer.  With the new Ponto Plus processor and the Ponto Streamer, the receiver used would be the Amigo R2, which has a longer Europin-middle pin. It plugs into the Ponto Streamer, not the processor.

So there are two options: 

A. They can use the Amigo R2BA receiver, which is likely what was ordered over the summer, with the older Ponto Pro processors at school and use the new Ponto Plus processor and Ponto Streamer at home.

B. The school can purchase one Amigo R2 receiver which would plug into the Ponto Streamer and just one receiver would transmit to both Ponto Plus processors.

Regarding the question about what the Ponto is picking up, surrounding noise versus what is being transmitted from the teacher’s microphone: 

For scenario A (above), the audiologist typically programs “Program 2″ as FM+M, meaning that the R2BA receiver on the Ponto receives the signal from the teacher’s mic and the Ponto microphones pick up the surrounding sounds.

For scenario B above, the Ponto Streamer settings default to receiving both the FM and M.

For either scenario A or B, the relative inputs from the FM Signal and the Mic signal can be adjusted if you want to change the “mix”. This is helpful if student reports that he or she is getting too much surrounding noise relative to the teacher’s voice, or vice versa.

I would recommend that the school Audiologists contact one of the Clinical Specialists through customer service for guidance, and the child’s Clinical Audiologist might need to get involved as well.  It is often the case that the school Audiologist defers to the Clinical Audiologist to make programming changes since they are the ones that fit the instrument.

So, there it is! We hope this answer helps as your student heads back to school. Do you have other questions regarding FM systems? Please let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter. We’re always here to help!

 

Meet Ponto User Ally Tumblin

Our next user video comes from Ally Tumblin and her mother Melissa, who talk about how the Ponto Plus has made a difference in school, at home, and on the playground.

“I’d call for her on the playground, and she would be looking all over for where my voice was coming from”

Listen to the full story below:

If you would like to know more about the Ponto system and speak to an audiologist, click the button below and we will connect you.

Speak to an Audiologist




Meet Ponto User Jack Herne

Happy Friday! Today we’d like to introduce you to Jack Herne who talks about how life has changed since he received his Oticon Medical Pontos.

“The air conditioning would just break up every single conversation. Now, thanks to my Ponto, I can actually hear people talking. There’s a lot less ‘can you repeat that again?’.

Listen to the full story below:

If you would like to know more about the Ponto system and speak to an audiologist, click the button below and we will connect you.

Speak to an Audiologist




Meet Ponto User Winslow Pipes!

We asked Ponto users to share their experience with us about what life is like with their Oticon Medical Ponto. Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing their responses and hope it inspires you to choose sound, choose Ponto.

This weeks user video comes from Ann and Winslow Pipes who share their journey of selecting the Ponto Pro Power.

“We didn’t notice any feedback at all and the TV wasn’t getting turned up as loud anymore. Once he (Winslow) had it implanted, he was so pleased with the clarity and volume we decided to implant his left side as well as his right”

Listen to the full story below:

If you would like to know more about the Ponto system and speak to an audiologist, click the button below and we will connect you. 

Speak to an Audiologist




Audiology Online Webinar: ‘A Parent’s Perspective in Decision Making in Bone Anchored Hearing Systems’

Last week, Oticon Medical and Audiology Online hosted a webinar to provide an inside look into the perspective and decision-making process of parents with children who can benefit from bone anchored hearing systems.

The webinar featured Melissa Tumblin and Ann Pipes, both mothers to children who use bone anchored hearing systems. Melissa’s daughter Alyssa (Ally) wears the Oticon Medical Ponto Plus on a soft band. Ann’s son, Winslow, made his own decision to have surgery to wear his bilateral Ponto Pluses on abutments as implants. Melissa is also the Founder and Executive Director of Ear Community, and Ann is a founding member of Little Ears Hearing Center, a non-profit pediatric audiology clinic in Louisville, KY.

Melissa and Ann shared their stories, and in doing so the audience learned:

  • How to identify the parent consideration process in selecting a bone anchored hearing system for a child
  • The various types of FM systems used by most schools
  • How Ann and Melissa learned of bone anchored hearing systems and the products their children tried before the Ponto system

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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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From the Field: How Active Ponto Users Play with Their Pontos in Place

What does your day-to-day look like? It probably involves waking up, getting ready and going to work or school. In just the first couple hours of the day, there are the sounds of the alarm clock going off, the shower turning on, the coffee machine percolating, the car turning on or the bus pulling up and the hum of traffic.

If you’re like many people, your day also includes some type of activity. Running, riding a bike, and playing sports—all activities in which sound continues to play a crucial role.

Here’s how two of our community members play best with their Pontos.

The Creative Karate Kid

Sonja Dadderio’s son Jack loves Karate, and he wears bilateral Pontos on a softband. He recently advanced to a red belt, requiring a helmet during activity. Sonja and Jack got creative. When Jack practices karate, they remove one of his Pontos and shift the other to the back-middle of his head. They found a gap in the back of the helmet, which allows the Ponto to sit unobstructed.

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