Tag Archives: Microtia

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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Day Care Center Shows Bone Anchored Hearing Support with ‘Rock the Headband’ Day

As a child, wearing a headband that everyone else doesn’t have to wear can be a challenge. That’s why one day care center went out of their way to show support and encouragement for Isaac Auld, an 18-month-old with Microtia and bilateral conductive hearing loss.

Pediatric audiologist Dr. Kelley Dwyer, first featured on Oticon Medical and Ear Community for her passion to help her brother Derek, shared with us the inspiring story of Isaac and the day care that above and beyond to support Isaac.

See the pictures of Isaac and the other children participating in “Rock the Headband” day below.

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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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Overcoming Hearing Loss Caused by Bilateral Microtia with the Help of Ear Community & the Ponto Plus

UPDATE: On October 9, 2015 Camilla took home first place in the category of “advocacy” for the 2015 Oticon Focus on People Awards.

Camilla Gilbert

Today, we would like to share a special story. After years of confusion and frustration, Camilla was able to connect with peers and mentors–including our friend Justin Bays–who helped lead her to the hearing device that’s right for her– all thanks to the incredible efforts of Ear Community.

Camilla was Ear Community’s very first college scholarship recipient. Camilla is now working on her graduate degree, and she’s a wonderful single mom too! Camilla’s family are long-time supporters of Ear Community. Camilla is also a member of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA).

Here’s Camilla to tell her story. 

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10-year-old Musician Embraces His Passion with the Help of His Ponto Softband

Meet Vishal, a 10-year-old musician with Microtia and Atresia. We first met Vishal when he posted this message on the Oticon Medical Facebook Page:

A boy.
10 years old – born with Microtia and Aural Atresia.
Student of grade 5.
I grow up in Germany because my Dad has his office out here.
He loves music.
At first he is shocked because his son is born with Microtia.
Then he remembers his conversation with God before I was born.
God was looking for parents for me like the ones I have.
My Dad promised God to be the best Dad ever.
The German Doc told my Dad just after my birth that I would not be able to hear nor speak.
My dad trusts in God and in His ways.
I get a Softband Oticon.
I win a first prize in a music competition in Germany!

Here’s Vishal to share a bit of his musical journey.

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