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 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.
Andrew’s audiologist, Dr. Brittany Whitlock, Au.D., CCC-A, of Pediatric Ear, Nose & Throat of Atlanta, P.C., discovered Ear Community when seeking to find help for him. Andrew was using one Oticon Medical Ponto Pro, but to provide better clarity and an all-around solution, he needed another. Andrew’s father submitted an application to their insurance provider for the additional Bone Anchored Hearing System (BAHS), but it was declined. Knowing that Andrew would greatly benefit and that his family could not afford without insurance, Dr. Whitlock applied for a Ponto through Ear Community. The application was approved, and on February 9th, 2015, Andrew was fitted with his second Ponto.
“By allowing Andrew to be aided with two [bone anchored] hearing devices, he will be given the opportunity to detect soft speech sounds in both ears, helping improve his ability to localize sound and articulation and follow classroom instruction in background noise to improve his academic performance,” says Dr. Whitlock.
During Andrew’s first week back to school with two Ponto Pro processors, he has noticed a difference in being able to hear better.
“I am always amazed at how much of a difference a hearing device can make in someone’s life,..especially if they are given the opportunity and the chance to obtain one when they couldn’t at first,” said Ear Community Founder and Executive Director Melissa Tumblin.