“The Ponto 4 connects my love for technology with my need of quality hearing. The features I enjoy most include clarity, surround-sound, and sense of direction, and wireless connection to Bluetooth. Ponto 4 allows me to feel more confident about wearing an aid and to focus on the sounds of everyday life.” — Camilla Gilbert
Jada, Connie, and Camilla
Camilla Gilbert lives in Cincinnati, Ohio along with her daughter, Jada. She was born with bilateral Microtia and Atresia, a congenital condition that affects how ears develop and frequently includes severe or complete hearing loss in the affected ear(s). She was fitted with a bone anchored hearing system (BAHS) as a child but used to wear her processors covered up with a headband. Then she learned more about her condition and discovered the importance of community and advocacy on behalf of others with Microtia, Atresia, and other hearing challenges.
Today, she is an active advocate for individuals with hearing loss and passionate about educating others on how to function efficiently in the hearing world. She serves on the committee for Ear Community’s Microtia and Atresia Support Group and is a past president of the Southwest Ohio chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America.
Camilla has worn Oticon Medical Ponto BAHS bilaterally for many years. So, when the opportunity arose to try out the latest technology, Ponto 4, she jumped at the chance.
The following are her thoughts and experiences after wearing Ponto 4 for an extended period, which she is sharing in hopes of informing others who might want to try Ponto 4 either as a user new to wearing BAHS entirely or as an upgrade from their current BAHS.
My first impressions of Ponto 4
I became the first person in the United States to get Ponto 4 after agreeing to participate in a video with Oticon Medical in New York. The video shoot itself was awesome! It was interesting because my daughter and I never did anything like that before. We felt like celebrities for a day. I was very excited that the video would be used to help inspire potential Ponto 4 wearers. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting into when I agreed to participate, but I trusted Oticon Medical.
My first impression of the Ponto 4 was that it was much smaller than my previous BAHS. I also loved that I could hear more all around me and not just sound coming from in front. It has a smaller, sleeker design, so if someone were concerned about others seeing their processor, they wouldn’t have to be as compared to other devices. I also noticed I could hear clearly outside even in the middle of New York City, and found it supported my active lifestyle. For example, I could listen to music better and really focus on my workout when I went for a run.
The Ponto 4 was pretty cool during my NYC visit after the video shoot. I was really still getting used to hearing everything around me – it took a few hours. It sounded like 360° hearing, rather than sound coming at me only from the front. When I was heading home and inside the airport, I noticed how noisy and crazy it was, and yet I could tell where all the different sounds were coming from. I had the same experience outside in Times Square — I could pinpoint where all the sound was coming from.
A month in and still loving Ponto 4
Having worn my new Ponto 4 devices for a month now, I can say that they have made a difference in my daily life — definitely at work, because it’s easier to hear everything. I can tell where speech is coming from. It’s also easier to have Ponto 4 while working out because I don’t need to wear a streamer around my neck. I recently went to a wedding and a Father’s Day celebration, and I was able to hear every conversation all around me and understand what was said. This is much better than the way it used to be, when I had to actively focus to my left or right in order to hear speech coming from either side but couldn’t hear and process conversations from both sides at the same time.
Ponto 4 is definitely smaller than my previous Ponto Plus. The features that really continue to stand out for me are the wireless connectivity — being connected with the (Oticon ON™) app and my smart devices. It’s been really great using that connectivity. Also, the Open Sound Navigator™ enables me to hear sounds all around me.
The Ponto 4 are comfortable to wear. Because I have thick hair, I love that the new design doesn’t have a volume control on-board, because my hair used to get stuck in that all the time and pull. Also, the sticker with Mute used to rub off all the time, so I don’t miss that either.
Listening to music is clearer, more like listening through surround-sound headphones. Phone calls are also clear, even video calls (e.g., Facetime). Ponto 4 allows me to feel more confident about wearing aids and focus on the sounds of everyday life. I am looking forward to using the new Ponto 4 as a doctoral student at Northern Kentucky University in the fall of 2019!
Want to learn more? Click here to read about Ponto 4.
Ready to get a new processor? Click to learn about the upgrade process, including how to receive assistance from our Reimbursement Support team.