Meet Amy Mackey. Amy is a two-time survivor of cholesteatomas and a Ponto Plus and Ponto Streamer wearer. Amy is a writer, so we could think of no better way for her to share her story than her written words below. We’ll also be hosting a live online discussion with Amy on Thursday, May 1 at 1pm EST– RSVP here.
I’m a Bilateral Cholesteatoma Survivor By Amy Mackey
As an infant and small child I suffered from repeated ear infections. I remember my mother used to back me up against the refrigerator to give me nose drops instead of the now used ear drops. She always told me she knew when I had an ear infection; my attitude went south. Under the age of five I participated in a group study for bilateral myringotomy (tubes in both ears). From what I understand I was the only one in the control group to not outgrow my ear problems. Over my tender years I had repeated myringotomies, doses of antibiotics, ear drum lancing and occasionally my ear drums would burst on their own from the pressure of fluids.
No matter what kind of healthcare visit or procedure you have, insurance can be confusing—so much so that it can sometimes feel like a completely different language. In addition to various companies, each individual insurance company has many, many policies. So, what works for someone with similar insurance might not work for you. That’s why we offer free insurance support for patients and clinics. Our team acts as a trusted guide to educate, address concerns and help you ask the right questions.
We work with you to do everything from verification of benefits to submitting the paperwork to insurance providers to requesting and receive pre-authorization. In the event that your request for pre-authorization is denied, we’ll investigate the reasons for denial and help to form and submit your appeal. We can truly help as little or as much as you need.
We sat down with Lindsay Fisk, Oticon Medical’s manager of customer reimbursement services, to learn more about how she helps hundreds of people navigate the world of insurance coverage. With over 500 authorizations complete, Lindsay and the rest of the team have a defined process that will get you on the right track for coverage.
You asked, we listened. You asked for more information on how you can help spread the word about your experience. So, we’re offering regular tech tips. Each tech tip shares a free and unique social way to share your story and experience the stories of others. This week, we’re covering Instagram, a service that enables users to tell their story through photography.
Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever.
1. Download and Register
First, download the Instagram App onto your smartphone. Once you’ve downloaded and open the app, you’ll be prompted to create an account. After you create your account, you’ll be directed to the screen below.
2. Choose or Take Your Photo To get started taking your first picture, hit the middle icon on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. Or, you can select a photo from your photo library.
Meet Chris Mennan. Chris developed single-sided hearing in the year 2000. Soon after, he joined a community support group for the deaf and hard of hearing. He did home visits and talks to people about hearing loss and coping with hearing loss. With that experience, Chris began working in the repair clinic at the hospitals in his local area. He volunteered for nine years, visiting three clinics a week. Last year, he received a position as a technical officer in Audiology. All this is quite a contrast to the 25 years he spent as a police officer, 17 years of which he was a dog handler. As Chris puts it, “the people I saw then were never as happy as the people I see now.” Here’s Chris to tell more of his story…
My Journey in Finding a Single-Sided Hearing Solution By Chris Mennan
It all happened very fast. One night about 14 years ago, I awoke to loud popping and banging noises in my ear. Even after seeking medical help, within a week, my left ear ceased to function whatsoever, and I was left with very loud tinnitus.
“Tinnitus (TIN-ih-tus) is noise or ringing in the ears. A common problem, tinnitus affects about 1 in 5 people.”
We triggered sound processors with a recording of different sounds known to cause feedback. Each time a whistling or artificial sound occurred on the recording, it was marked with an orange line. The fewer the lines, the better the feedback system. As you can see, Ponto Plus, with feedback shield, shows a significant improvement compared to other systems.
To demonstrate the sound quality between the Ponto Plus and other sound processors we have sound clips below, so you can hear the difference for yourself. The first clip is the sound quality of a competitor and the second is the same clip, but heard through the Ponto Plus.
*Note: the quality of your speakers will impact the difference between the two clips.
Each summer the Ear Community hosts picnics around the world that help bring Microtia and Atresia families together. The picnics offer a platform for the community to come together and share experiences. Medical professionals– Microtia and Atresia repair surgeons, ENTs, audiologists and therapists– also join to share information on the options for living with hearing loss. Families are even able to test the latest hearing products at the event.
As a sponsor and active participant in the picnics, we can’t think of a better way to spend a summer day.
Here’s when and where this summer’s picnics will take place:
Alison Sabbar discusses the wireless technology capabilities of the Ponto Plus, including the Ponto Streamer, the device that makes all of this connectivity possible. Now, individuals with single-sided deafness and conductive hearing loss can get the wireless capabilities that they want and need.
The Ponto Streamer has a wireless coil that picks up audio signals and transmits them directly to the Ponto Plus, turning the Ponto Plus into a wireless headset. The Ponto Streamer connects to audio devices such as cellphones, TVs, MP3 players, landline phones and more.
Another accessory, the ConnectLine microphone, clips onto a speaker, so the speaker’s voice can be transmitted directly to the Ponto Plus processor. It’s ideal for school and work settings.
Here’s Alison to describe more about the Ponto Plus, Ponto Streamer and wireless capabilities.