Tag Archives: SSD

The Mission of Providing Hopeful and Helpful Solutions for Hearing Loss

This post is part of a clinic feature series, where we highlight doctors and clinics who offer the Oticon Medical Bone Anchored Hearing System, the Ponto.

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Dr. James Benecke, Chief of Otolaryngology at Missouri Baptist Medical Center

James E. Benecke, MD, FACS is an otologist/neurotologist with Midwest Ear Specialists, part of the BJC Medical Group of Missouri.  He is Chief of Otolaryngology at Missouri Baptist Medical Center and Adjunct Professor of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery at St. Louis University School of Medicine.

As a specialist in the ear, Dr. Benecke is consistently recognized on “The Best Doctors in America” list.  He and his team offer a full array of diagnostic evaluations for hearing and vestibular (balance) disorders.  They provide medical and surgical care of pediatric and adult patients with ear diseases, dizziness & balance disorders, as well as issues with the temporal bone, skull base, and related structures.

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Ready to Upgrade Your Bone Anchored Hearing System to a Ponto Plus? A Checklist to Help You Decide

Maybe you’ve heard from those who have made the switch from a different bone anchored hearing system to a Ponto. Maybe you’ve seen the data on how the Ponto Plus offers the best Bone Anchored Hearing System (BAHS) sound quality possible, and you’ve been thinking of upgrading your Ponto for a while.

Upgrade to the Ponto PlusYou’ve been thinking about it, now what’s next?

First, it’s important that you have access to all of the information that will help you decide. Below, we’ve created a list of upgrade information that will equip you with what you need to know about leveling-up to the Ponto Plus—whether it’s from a different bone anchored hearing system, or you’re moving from an older Ponto model on up. You’ll find user stories about experiences upgrading, more about the upgrade process, Ponto product and accessory information and more. 

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Find the Right Hearing Care Professional for You: Oticon Medical’s Customer Service Team Can Help

You may have seen our new page where you can sign up to get help making an appointment with a hearing care professional in your area. We wanted to take a minute to explain why Oticon Medical offers this service, and what it can do for you or someone you know who’s on the journey of finding the best hearing solution possible.

TreatmentWhen most people start searching for hearing solutions, what they don’t realize is that all clinics don’t offer all of the available solutions. In fact, in some cases, people don’t even know what their options are. They only know what the clinic has offered them. From people who weren’t aware of bone anchored hearing solutions at all, to those who thought only one type of bone anchored hearing solution existed, we hear from a lot of people who have been in this situation. If this is your case, you’re not alone!

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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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The Most Important Questions to Ask When Considering a Bone Anchored Hearing System: Help Others Get BAHS Answers

A couple of months ago we held the first ever Oticon Medical Patient Advocacy Workshop. While events in the past have focused on gathering and getting to know each other, this event focused on bettering the experience for those who need or will need bone anchored hearing systems in the future.

Be the ChangeThe top concern included education for those who were experiencing the world of bone anchored hearing for the fist time. Ponto wearers and families shared that they felt frustrated at the beginning of their journey, because they didn’t get all of the information they needed outright— it took research, time and, in many cases, probing to get answers from professionals. The statement “I wish I would have known what questions to ask” is something that we heard from the group more than once. Kelley Dwyer, an Audiologist who joined our group along with her brother Derek, who got his Ponto Plus and the Ponto Streamer earlier this year, also mentioned that it’d be helpful for Audiologists if patients had more access to information and a set of questions too.

Many people in the group mentioned that they didn’t know that there were options when it came to choosing a bone anchored hearing device. For some, it took years to make the realization and in some cases, it lead to surgery for a new abutment to make a switch.

We’re working to fulfill the needs we uncovered and develop the ideas the group had from the workshop. Today, we’re asking for your help to bring one of those ideas to life.

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Baby Boy’s Family is Thankful for the Gift of Hearing

Ponto Wearer Kris Siwek Gives— and Gets— the Ultimate Gift

Kris Siwek is a Ponto wearer and advocate that we know well. Kris suddenly lost her hearing after being diagnosed with a tumor at age 29. Kris, pregnant at the time, did intense research to find the best solution for her survival and recovery— from her acoustic neuroma removal to finding the right hearing solution. Kris actively shares her story and advocates for those with acoustic neuromas and hearing loss.

When we spoke with Kris last week, we could see her face light up when she mentioned her donated Ponto would go to a 7-month-old through Ear Community. Heres’ more about that 7-month-old, Clark. As Kris put it, “It’s just so perfect.”

“In April of 2014, Max and Melissa Witt gave birth to a beautiful sweet baby boy named Clark. When Clark was born, he was originally diagnosed with having Goldenhar Syndrome and Hemifacial Microsomia. Clark was also born without his left ear due to having Microtia and a missing ear canal due to having Atresia, resulting in hearing loss,” Melissa Tumblin, Founder of Ear Community writes in the original piece about the story on Ear Community. “Clark’s parents did everything they could to provide him with proper healthcare prenatally. They had level 2 ultrasounds, genetic screenings, even a fetal echocardiogram… However, it wasn’t until Clark was almost 2.5 months old (after birth) when Clark’s doctors discovered that his heart had a double aortic arch. Clark underwent heart surgery at just 5 months of age to fix his heart.”
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Hearing Loss in the Classroom

Educating teachers and children on the importance of using FM systems in the classroom came up many times at our Patient Advocacy Workshop. Here’s a great video by St. John’s Medical Center that does just that. This is a great tool that shows the difference a FM system can make for a child with hearing loss. Share it with your children and their teachers.

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College Student Cuts Through Years of Noise with Ponto Plus

Kevin Hotaling is a sophomore at Stonehill College who got his Ponto Plus on October 13, 2014. When we saw Kevin’s video, we just had to meet him. We knew you’d feel the same.

So, here’s Kevin to tell you a bit of his story:

I originally found out about Ponto through one of my mother’s coworkers. She didn’t have the Ponto, but she had a very similar bone anchored hearing aid procedure done, and she’s had results that were nothing short of stellar. I was nervous originally. Although surgery was nothing new to me, the idea of someone drilling into my skull was very unsettling. In addition to that, I hadn’t heard of any people my age who had ever gotten the procedure done. I had only ever heard of adults and small children owning the system, never a teenager. I was given the opportunity to test the device using a headband, and immediately, I noticed a massive difference in my hearing quality.

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Be More Bold

Connie Kehoe, a seasoned Oticon Medical Ponto Pro user, explains how taking the steps to improve her hearing was a chance for bold new adventures.

After experiencing 20 years of hearing loss, Connie was ready to overcome to exhaustion of working to hear people in groups and in noise filled environments– including her own grandchildren.

Learn more about the Ponto Plus here. Do you have questions for Connie? Let us know in the comments section below.

A Reminder: Speak Up About the Things that Matter

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

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Martin Luther King Jr. reminds us to fight for big things! We know that you’ve had to overcome the struggle of hearing loss for yourself or for your child. We also know that hearing loss impacts quality of life and relationships, so it’s no small matter.

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, please share how you have overcome or are in the process of overcoming your struggle in the comments section below– we’d love to add your story to this post. It’s not not an easy journey, let’s keep inspiring each other!