Helping Afsheen hear better with a Baha 5 from Cochlear Americas and the Ear Community Organization

Afsheen Fathima, 2.5 years old born with Microtia and Atresia of her left ear wearing her newly donated Baha 5 from Cochlear Americas, September 30, 2016.

Afsheen Fathima, 2.5 years old born with Microtia and Atresia of her left ear wearing her newly donated Baha 5 from Cochlear Americas, September 30, 2016.

Meet Afsheen Fathima, a beautiful little girl from India, who now lives with her mother and father in Henrico, Virginia (USA).  Afsheen is now 2.5 years old who was born with Microtia and Atresia of her left ear.  She was also born with scoliosis.  Afsheen is a sweet little girl who is excited to begin talking now that her vocabulary is coming in, but she is already experiencing delays in her speech according to her father, Salman Farish.  In order to help with Afsheen’s speech delays, Salman said that he and his wife are doing everything that has been suggested to them by their pediatrician…they have Afsheen in an “early intervention program and now we have our developmental specialist and speech therapist visiting her every week.”  Salman says that “Since this time of age is important for her speech and language development, our audiologist and ENT doctors suggested using a soft band Baha hearing device.”  Salman was able to obtain a trial or loaner Baha from their local audiologist for Afsheen to experience hearing better.  During this time, Salman says that “we were able to see good improvement in her speech…even Afsheen’s developmental specialist noticed how she was trying to pick up more words.”

Upon returning the loaner Baha to their audiologist, Salman applied for a Baha for Afsheen through their insurance company after seeing how much better she was hearing.  Unfortunately, Salman’s insurance provider denied the cost for coverage of a Baha for Afsheen.  As Salman is the only source of income for his family, Salman was unable to provide a new hearing device for Afsheen.  Especially, when they have most of their expenses going toward savings for Afsheen’s spinal treatment.  Fortunately, Salman and his family discovered the Ear Community Organization and applied for a hearing device for Afsheen.  On September 30th, 2016, Afsheed was fitted with her new Cochlear Americas Baha 5 bone conduction processor.  Since Afsheen has been aided with her new Baha, Salman says that  “we could see change in here face reaction as soon as we put her new Baha 5 on her….even though Afsheen is having speech and developmental delay, we are very sure that this will definitely help her from here on out. We have a long way to go when considering reconstructive surgery for her ear, but being able to wear a hearing device is already making a big difference for us with Afsheen.”

Thank you to Dr. Jennifer White (audiologist) at Virginia Commonwealth University for donating her time and services to fit and program Afsheen’s newly donated Baha 5 from Cochlear Americas!  Ear Community is a nonprofit organization that helps the Microtia and Atresia community worldwide. Ear Community is so very thankful for the help that it receives and when other organizations come together to help Ear Community with its mission, to help children and adults born with Microtia and Atresia. “Thank you to Cochlear Americas for helping little Afsheen live a better quality of life by donating her new Baha 5 processor so she can hear better,” says Melissa Tumblin.

Ear Community would especially like to thank Stacey Jones and Kara Golmont of Cochlear Americas for donating the Baha 5 to our organization so Ear Community could help Afsheen hear better. “Cochlear is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions. It has a dedicated global team of more than 2,500 people who deliver the gift of sound to those with hearing loss in over 100 countries. Its vision is to connect people, young and old, to a world of sound by offering life enhancing hearing solutions. In 2013, Cochlear celebrates 100,000 Baha System users – all with unique stories of how being able to hear again has impacted their lives. The Cochlear promise of “Hear Now. And Always” embodies the company’s commitment to providing its recipients with the best possible hearing performance today and for the rest of their lives.”

We are so happy that you can hear so much better now Afsheen!  Your mom and dad are wonderful advocates for you!  Congrats from all of us at the Ear Community Organization.

Thanks!
Melissa Tumblin
Founder and Executive Director
Ear Community Organization
www.EarCommunity.org

Ear Community proudly awards its seventh college scholarship

Cailin O'Hern from Richmond Hill, Georgia, Ear Community college scholarship recipient for Fall 2016, Point University

Cailin O’Hern from Richmond Hill, Georgia, Ear Community college scholarship recipient for Fall 2016, Point University

Meet Cailin O’Hern from Richmond Hill, Georgia. Cailin just graduated from the twelfth grade as a home-schooled student. Cailin was born with Microtia and Atresia of her right ear. Cailin says that having Microtia and Atresia was challenging for her over the years as she often felt awkward and self-conscious when asked about her ear. She also found that being in social situations was challenging when she couldn’t hear well because of her hearing loss. However, Cailin has learned to become quite good at lip reading and positioning herself to where her hearing ear is toward the conversation.

Cailin is a fan of classic literature and she is an artist. She has enjoyed being the newspaper-book editor at Landry Academy (an online home-schooling community) and enjoys writing and reading very much.

Cailin is excited to attend Point University this fall in Richmond Hill, Georgia. With the help of a $750 college scholarship that has been awarded to Cailin by the Ear Community Organization, she will be able to achieve her educational goal of furthering her education in literature and the arts. Cailin’s dream is to become an author. She would love to create stories that help young children not only understand and accept their physical differences, but empower them to excel because of their differences.

It was a joy speaking with Cailin and her family when I called to let her know that the Ear Community Organization’s board of directors had voted to award her a college scholarship. What was so special about this phone call is the day that I called to tell Cailin the good news was her graduation day and that just made her day even more special. A special thank you to the Resort2Kindness Organization for helping make Cailin’s scholarship possible.  All of us here at Ear Community are proud of you Cailin and we know you will achieve your goals and dreams. We look forward to reading some of your wonderful stories someday. Congratulations for all of us at the Ear Community Organization!

Melissa Tumblin
Founder and Executive Director
and
Ear Community Board Members
www.EarCommunity.org

Helping Arkin hear better in the Philippines thanks to the Ear Community Organization and Oticon Medical

Arkin Silutan Lerio, a 10 month old boy from the Philippines who was born with bilateral Microtia and Atresia. Hearing device recipient of two Oticon Medical Ponto Plus sound processors that were donated through the Ear Community Organization on August 15th, 2016.

Arkin Silutan Lerio, a 10 month old boy from the Philippines who was born with bilateral Microtia and Atresia. Hearing device recipient of two Oticon Medical Ponto Plus sound processors that were donated through the Ear Community Organization on August 15th, 2016.

Meet little Arkin Silutan Lerio, a 10 month old adorable baby boy from Las Pinas City in the Philippines.  Arkin was born with grade III bilateral Microtia and Atresia.  When Arkin was two months old, Arkin’s mom, Jhoan Silutan Hernandez,
took him to an ENT specialist so that he could have an ABR hearing test conducted.  This is when she learned that Arkin had a severe to profound hearing loss in both of his ears.  Jhoan was also informed that Arkin may struggle with speech delays due to his bilateral hearing loss.

At three months of age, Arkin was given the opportunity to try on a bone conduction hearing device for just a few minutes.  During this time, Arkin’s mom, Jhoan, quickly realized how this changed his hearing.  Jhoan says “We got a positive response!…I saw how Arkin smiled, cried, and opened his eyes wide every time the audiologist would speak to him.”  “It was a priceless moment for us and for Arkin!”  She knew from that moment that Arkin needed to hear better with the help of hearing devices.  However, Arkin’s family does not have medical insurance and their income made it unlikely to be able to pay for a bone conduction hearing device out of pocket.  Jhoan struggled with finding answers about Microtia and Atresia.  Many of the medical professionals Jhoan took Arkin to did not the answers to her questions and were not familiar with seeing a child with Microtia and Atresia.  Jhoan did some research online and thankfully found the Ear Community Organization.  After learning more about Microtia and Atresia and discovering how she could help Arkin more with his speech, she discovered that the Ear Community Organization also donates hearing devices and so she applied.

On Monday, August 15th, 2016, Arkin proudly received two newly donated Oticon Medical Ponto Plus hearing devices and steamer from Oticon Medical that were donated through the Ear Community Organization.  Many people helped Arkin along the way in order for him to receive his new hearing devices.  A special thank you to Izovelle “Icee” Piedad (audiologist with Philiear Inc.) for helping donate her time to fit and program Arkin’s new Ponto Plus hearing devices!  Icee waited patiently for Arkin’s hearing devices to make it through customs and was delighted to receive them for Arkin’s appointment a week ago.  Thank you also to Gabe Murphy of Idaho (USA), who wanted to give back to the Microtia and Atresia community and help a child hear better.  Gabe organized a 5k race fund raiser event in Preston, Idaho for his senior class project.  Some of the funds that were raised went toward paying for the shipping of Arkin’s hearing device.  Gabe is excited to have helped Arkin because Gabe was also born with bilateral Microtia and Atresia.  Thank you for helping Arkin, Gabe….and thank you for your support to the Ear Community Organization!

Jhoan says that Arkin is already hearing better and that he is mimicking sounds.  She says that Arkin is already making new sounds and babbling more!  Arkin also has a new friend, his monkey that he has decided to call “Otty” that came from Oticon Medical with his gift of hearing.  Arkin is very lucky to have such an amazing mommy like Jhoan.  Jhoan stayed on top of the tracking for Arkin’s hearing devices updated me (Melissa Tumblin) every step of the way.  She even had a beautiful cake made to help celebrate Arkin’s special day with Icee donating her time to help fit Arkin’s hearing devices.  Love the cake Jhoan and thank you!  What a sweet touch to a sweet day!

A very special thank you to Alan Raffauf, Vice President of Marketing for Oticon Medical US, for choosing to donate two new Oticon Medical Ponto Plus hearing devices w/streamer to Ear Community so that it could be donated to Arkin to help her hear better during the critical years of development.   As a tribute to Curt Gorman, Oticon Medical’s past president, who passed away last August, may Arkin thrive in the hearing world with his new hearing devices and never miss a beat as he continues to grow.  Curt Gorman had a passion for helping children hear better as he was a pioneer in the hearing device industry, especially for bone anchored hearing devices.   Many who loved and knew Curt have made donations to also help children hear better through the Ear Community Organization.  Thank you for everyone’s support and for helping Ear Community continue with it’s mission of helping individuals with Microtia and Atresia. Oticon Medical believes in helping individuals with hearing loss so that they can live a better quality of life. Oticon Medical is a well respected international hearing device manufacturer that is a part of the “William Demant Group [which has] 100-plus years of experience in audiology and sound processing and established manufacturing and logistics infrastructure.”

Arkin, we are all so very proud of you and we hope you thrive everyday and get the most out of life, especially all of the sounds that come with it!  We hope you keep us updated as you grow older!  Congratulations on hearing your best Arkin.  Here are some cute pictures of Arkin on his special day!

We are so proud of you!
Melissa Tumblin
Founder of the Ear Community Organization
and
Ear Community Board members
www.EarCommunity.org

Ear Community proudly awards its sixth college scholarship

Meghan Barr, 2016 Fall college scholarship recipient through the Ear Community Organization. We wish you well at Hardin Simmons University Meghan!Meet Meghan Barr from Abilene, Texas. Meghan is 20 years old and was born with Microtia and Atresia of her right ear. Meghan says that living with Microtia and Atresia has had its ups and downs, but with the support of her parents, family and friends, it has allowed her to accept living with Microtia and Atresia and is now a part of who she is today.

Meghan loves dancing! When Meghan was five years old, she began dancing and got her ears pierced and began wearing her hair up. She discovered her love for ballet, tap, and jazz. She also moved on to clogging, hip hop, and contemporary lyrical. Meghan says that dance has allowed her to be herself. She says that no one has ever judged her for having one ear and many of her fellow dance friends have no idea and still don’t realize that she is missing her ear, even after dancing with them for over ten years. Meghan also says that dance has taught her to not be ashamed to wear her hair up. Dance has allowed her to escape from any issues that she may be going through and it is a form of expression that she can go to when she can’t say what she feels, but can say it through movements.

As Meghan was growing up, she says she had her fair share of battles when people would talk to her and she wouldn’t always hear everything they were saying to her. She has been able to position herself in class so that she can hear better. While Meghan does not wear a hearing device, she says that her parents did tell her about them and about reconstructive surgery as options, but they never forced her and always told her it was her decision when she was ready. She loves her Microtia ear and does not regret never having surgery. Meghan knows today that she is not alone as she has met many others with Microtia and Atresia through the Ear Community Organization and through Ear Community’s support groups online.

Meghan will be attending Hardin Simmons University this fall where she will begin earning her Bachelors Degree in pediatric nursing. Meghan has been awarded a $750 college scholarship from the Ear Community Organization for this fall of 2016. Thank you to the Resort2Kindness Organization for helping contribute toward this scholarship for Meghan and for helping make her first semester possible at Hardin Simmons University!  We hope this gift will help you on your way to becoming a nursing professional! Congratulations Meghan from all of us here at the Ear Community Organization! We are all so very proud of you!

Here are some photos of Meghan and her family:

Ear Community proudly awards its fifth college scholarship

Jessica Gonzalez, Ear Community college scholarship recipient.  We wish you well at University of Texas El Paso (Fall 2016).

Jessica Gonzalez, Ear Community college scholarship recipient. We wish you well at University of Texas El Paso (Fall 2016).

Meet Jessica Gonzalez from El Paso, Texas. Jessica is 28 years old and was born with Microtia and Atresia of her right ear. Jessica never asked why she couldn’t hear from her right ear while she was growing up or why she was born this way until recently when a couple of her college professors encouraged her to do some research on Microtia and Atresia. This is when Jessica found the Ear Community Organization and quickly discovered more about her Microtia and Atresia.

Jessica recently became a mother for the first time, giving birth to a healthy baby girl. As a single mother, Jessica says that graduating with her Bachelors Degree and pursuing a career in teaching is no longer just a goal for herself, but also for her daughter so she can no longer have to worry about financial struggles.

For the fall semester of 2016, Jessica will be awarded a $750 college scholarship from the Ear Community Organization to help her pursue her dream as a teacher.  Jessica transferred from El Paso Community College to the University of Texas at El Paso this past Spring. She has been there for two semesters (Spring and Summer.) She is proud to have made the Dean’s List for Spring 2016.  She recently found out that due to her 4.0 for Summer 2016 with four classes, she will be on the Dean’s List again. Jessica hopes to earn her Bachelors Degree in teaching from the University of Texas El Paso and she hopes to graduate in 2018 as she has already completed some of her undergraduate work.

A very special thank you to the Mariner Foundation and the National Christian Foundation for contributing toward Jessica’s scholarship and for helping be a part of Jessica’s dream in making it a reality.

Congratulations Jessica! We are so proud of you and we are so happy that you found the Ear Community Organization! Good luck to you in becoming a teacher….we know you will make an amazing teacher someday!

Melissa Tumblin
Founder and Executive Director
the Ear Community Organization
www.EarCommunity.org

Helping Lyla hear better with a Cochlear America’s Baha 5 thanks to the Ear Community Organization and Cochlear Americas

Lyla Begaye, 10 months old, born with Microtia and Atresia of her left ear, proudly wearing her new Cochlear Americas Baha 5 sound processor that was donated through Ear Community on June 21st, 2017. From Glenwood Springs, CO.

Lyla Begaye, 10 months old, born with Microtia and Atresia of her left ear, proudly wearing her new Cochlear Americas Baha 5 sound processor that was donated through Ear Community on June 21st, 2017. From Glenwood Springs, CO.

Meet little Lyla Begaye who was born ten months ago with Microtia and Atresia of her left ear.  Lyla and her family live in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.  When Lyla was born, a newborn hearing test was conducted, but the hospital continued to test Lyla up to three times until she passed the newborn hearing screening.  Lyla’s family was told that she probably had fluid in her ears.  As time went on, Lyla’s mom, Nakita, began to notice that “she wasn’t responding very fast to sounds.”  Once realizing Lyla didn’t have an ear canal, the family took Lyla to a pediatrician.  This pediatrician was shocked that no one had caught this following Lyla’s birth.  Lyla’s family was then sent to Children’s Colorado Hospital where they were able to meet with an audiologist.

After visiting with Dr. Karen Harris (audiologist), Lyla was informed about a bone conduction hearing device and was given the chance to borrow one during a trial period.  Since Lyla has been aided during the trial period, her parents Nakita and William, noticed that “Lyla began reacting faster to sounds and  starting to turn and figure out where the sounds were coming from.”  When Lyla’s family was unable to obtain a hearing device through insurance, the family was told about the Ear Community Organization and applied for a bone anchored hearing device for Lyla.

On June 21st, 2016, Lyla was fitted with her new Baha 5 from Cochlear Americas that was donated by the Ear Community Organization.  During Lyla’s fitting, she turns her eyes toward Melissa Tumblin, Founder of the Ear Community Organization and the voice behind the video below) during Lyla’s reaction to sound.  “It was a wonderful experience to be able to be present during Lyla’s fitting,” Melissa Tumblin says as this was her first local fitting she has been able to attend on behalf of the organization.  “It is very rewarding to see the gift of hearing be given to a child,” says Tumblin.  Tumblin.  Also, Tumblin had her two daughters, Ally (whom the organization was founded after Ally was born with Microtia and Atresia of her right ear in 2009) and Hailey, her older daughter, with her during Lyla’s appointment to experience how nice it is to help someone.  Lyla’s grand parents also joined us at Lyla’s fitting and couldn’t be more excited for their granddaughter knowing that she can now hear better, especially during her critical years of development.  During Lyla’s fitting, she received a stuffed nemo fishy and an Ear Community “Microtia Kids Rock” t-shirt from the Ear Community Organization along with “Vibe” the stuffed Baha moose from Cochlear.  So, now Lyla has lots of stuffed pals to keep her company during her up coming months of exploring her environment and hearing the sounds of life.

Here is the link to the video of Lyla being switched on with her new Baha 5 sound processor:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBCnrztqyak

Ear Community is a nonprofit organization that helps the Microtia and Atresia community worldwide. Ear Community is so very thankful for the help that it receives and when other organizations come together to help Ear Community with its mission, to help children and adults born with Microtia and Atresia. “Thank you to Cochlear Americas for helping little Lyla live a better quality of life by donating her new Baha 5 processor so she can hear better,” says Melissa Tumblin.

Ear Community would especially like to thank Stacey Jones and Kara Golmont of Cochlear Americas for donating the Baha 5 to our organization so Ear Community could help Lyla hear better. “Cochlear is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions. It has a dedicated global team of more than 2,500 people who deliver the gift of sound to those with hearing loss in over 100 countries. Its vision is to connect people, young and old, to a world of sound by offering life enhancing hearing solutions. In 2013, Cochlear celebrates 100,000 Baha System users – all with unique stories of how being able to hear again has impacted their lives. The Cochlear promise of “Hear Now. And Always” embodies the company’s commitment to providing its recipients with the best possible hearing performance today and for the rest of their lives.”

Here are some fun memories from Lyla’s special day during her fitting with her Cochlear America’s Baha 5:

Ear Community and Oticon Medical donate a Ponto Plus BAHS to help a little girl hear better

Emilia Drago, 1.5 years old born with Microtia and Atresia of her right ear wearing her newly donated Oticon Medical Ponto Plus from the Ear Community Organization, June 17th, 2016

Emilia Drago, 1.5 years old born with Microtia and Atresia of her right ear from Geismar, Louisiana wearing her newly donated Oticon Medical Ponto Plus from the Ear Community Organization, June 17th, 2016

Meet Emilia Drago from Geismar, Louisiana.  Emilia is a beautiful one and a half year old little girl who was born with Microtia and Atresia of her right ear and mild hemifacial microsomia.  When Emilia was born, doctors did not know what to tell her parents regarding her being born with Microtia and Atresia.  Doctors did tell Emilia’s parents, Cody and Amanda, that her microtic ear should unfold after being squished in the womb, which was not the case.

Over the first year of Emilia’s life, Emilia’s parents took her to a number of medical specialists to see how they could help Emilia thrive and get answers.  Emilia’s parents did eventually discover that Emilia could not hear well through the results from her ABR.  Emilia has a moderate to severe hearing loss and Emilia’s mother, Amanda, noticed that Emilia startles easy when she hears sounds and then acts frightened while she looks around for the sounds as she does not seem to know where they are coming from.  After discovering that Emilia has hearing loss, Amanda was advised about how a bone anchored hearing device could help Emilia hear better.  Amanda was also advised to enroll Emilia into speech therapy when she begins school and to help with sign.

After Emilia was given the opportunity to trial an Oticon Medical BAHS on a softband at her audiologist’s office, Amanda and Cody Drago “had an emotional day watching [their] daughter’s sense of direction improve instantly.  [They] were astounded by Emilia’s ability to find the source of sounds like never before.  They were instantly sold on the idea of a hearing device.”  Unfortunately, the idea of obtaining a hearing device for little Emilia fell apart when the family was advised by Emilia’s audiologist that anyone without Medicaid should order via a third party company called Sunmed Medical.  After quickly placing their order for a BAHS for Emilia, Amanda and Cody were denied over the phone as Sunmed did not work with Aetna.  This left the family without insurance coverage for Emilia’s BAHS and not enough money to be able to purchase a hearing device out of pocket.  Fortunately they found the Ear Community Organization, a nonprofit organization that helps children and adults obtain new hearing devices who were born with Microtia and Atresia.

On June 17th, 2016, Emilia was fitted with her new Oticon Medical Ponto Plus BAHS on a soft band head band with streaming device at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana by Dr. Dori Cormier.  Emilia’s mom, Amanda, explains that since getting home from Emilia’s audiology appointment, she has noticed how Emilia is looking around more at the sounds she hears and how Emilia doesn’t seem to mind her new Ponto Plus and in fact, is wearing it often throughout the days.  Amanda also explained that she is not overwhelmed by all the information provided on how the Ponto Plus works and is very excited how it will help Emilia hear better, especially as she gets older and begins school.  The Drago family is very grateful to the Ear Community Organization and for all of the support the family has received from Ear Community’s amazing group of microtia families on its online support group, the Microtia and Atresia Support Group on Facebook.

A very special thank you to Alan Raffauf, Vice President of Marketing for Oticon Medical US, for choosing to donate the new Oticon Medical Ponto Plus hearing device w/streamer to Ear Community so that it could be donated to Emilia to help her hear better during the critical years of development.   As a tribute to Curt Gorman, Oticon Medical’s past president, who passed away last August, may Emilia thrive in the hearing world with her new hearing device and never miss a beat as she continues to grow.  Curt Gorman had a passion for helping children hear better as he was a pioneer in the hearing device industry, especially for bone anchored hearing devices.   Thank you for everyone’s support and for helping Ear Community continue with its mission of helping individuals with Microtia and Atresia.Oticon Medical believes in helping individuals with hearing loss so that they can live a better quality of life. Oticon Medical is a well respected international hearing device manufacturer that is a part of the “William Demant Group [which has] 100-plus years of experience in audiology and sound processing and established manufacturing and logistics infrastructure.”

Congratulations to hearing so much better now Emilia!  All of us here at Ear Community are excited for you to discover the sounds of life and music and laughter as you grow!

Thank you!
Melissa Tumblin (Ear Community Founder)
and
Ear Community Board Members
www.EarCommunity.org

Oticon Medical Ponto SuperPower – the world’s first abutment-level SuperPower processor with fitting range down to 65 dB HL (BC)

June 23, 2016 – Oticon Medical today previewed the new Ponto SuperPower, the first abutment-level sound processor with a fitting range down to 65 dB HL (BC). Oticon Medical developed the innovative SuperPower processor with the goal of enabling adults and children with higher degrees of mixed hearing loss to benefit from a discreet sound processor that connects directly to the abutment for Direct Sound Transmission. The newest addition to the Ponto family of bone anchored solutions is CE marked and currently pending FDA clearance. Commercial availability is expected by year end 2016.

Single-unit processor connects directly to abutment for Direct Sound Transmission

Oticon Medical developed the innovative SuperPower processor with the goal of enabling adults and children with higher degrees of mixed hearing loss to benefit from a discreet sound processor that connects directly to the abutment for Direct Sound Transmission.

“The Ponto SuperPower is the first abutment-level SuperPower device in the bone anchored hearing implant market,” says Jes Olsen, President of Oticon Medical. “It is also a beautiful SuperPower version, the first that requires no strings or bulky ear- or body-worn devices.” The discreet single-unit processor connects directly to the abutment to secure the Direct Sound Transmission found in traditional Ponto processors.”

The new Ponto SuperPower is based on a new Inium Sense platform and UltraDrive technology that boosts the drive signal to the vibrator and a highly advanced feedback management technology that supplies high levels of amplification while minimizing the risk of feedback.

Oticon Medical called upon the company’s core competences in electronic design and transducer technology to incorporate UltraDrive into the new SuperPower processor without compromising reliability or sound quality. Until now, the UltraDrive technology has never been used in bone conduction devices.

More patients than ever can benefit

“We aim high when it comes to providing better hearing outcomes for bone anchored hearing users,” adds Olsen. “By extending the fitting range to 65 dB HL, more patients than ever can benefit from the high quality sound that is a hallmark of Oticon Medical Ponto processors. Direct Sound Transmission enables Ponto SuperPower to deliver maximum output in the mid to high frequencies that are so important for speech understanding for all users and especially for language development in children1. With the launch of the Ponto SuperPower, we continue our commitment to bring new
innovative and proven technology to the market to overcome the many challenges that people with severe mixed hearing losses face.”

Expected by end of the year

This newest addition to the Ponto family of bone anchored solutions is currently pending FDA clearance and CE mark. Commercial availability is expected by year end 2016.

The Ponto SuperPower requires FDA clearance for commercial distribution in the U.S. At this time, the Ponto SuperPower is not available in the U.S.

References:
1. Pittman (2008) Short-term word-learning rate in children with normal hearing and children with hearing loss in limited and extended high-frequency bandwidths. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research. Vol 5; 785-797

Cochlear announces availability of Cochlear™ Baha® 5 Power and Baha 5 SuperPower, two new powerful bone conduction sound processors for those with higher degrees of hearing loss

June 22, 2016

Media Contact

Renee Oehlerking
Cochlear Americas
303-264-2104
roehlerking@Cochlear.com

The new Baha 5 Power and Baha 5 SuperPower Sound Processors complete the Baha 5 portfolio

Centennial, Colo., (June 23, 2016) — Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH), the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, announces today the commercial availability of the Baha® 5 Power and Baha 5 SuperPower Sound Processors in the United States. This completes the Baha 5 Sound Processor Portfolio, the industry’s widest and most powerful portfolio of bone conduction solutions.1

The new Baha 5 Power and Baha 5 SuperPower Sound Processors are now available to those with greater levels of mixed hearing loss, up to 55 dB sensorineural hearing level (SNHL) for Power and 65 db SNHL for SuperPower.

Broadest bone conduction sound processor portfolio

With the addition of the Power and SuperPower, the Baha 5 portfolio provides the widest range of sound processors, including the industry’s smallest, smartest and most powerful head-worn bone conduction solutions for those with single-sided deafness (SSD) or have conductive or mixed hearing loss.1,2 The entire Baha 5 portfolio provides customers with the ability to hear better across noisy environments, connect wirelessly to a variety of electronic devices, and provide direct-to-device wireless streaming and control with Made for iPhone®support.

“We are pleased to announce the availability of the Baha 5 Power and Baha 5 SuperPower Sound Processors to our customers,” said Tony Manna, President of Cochlear North America. “We are providing a portfolio with a range of solutions to fit our customer’s specific hearing loss need, which is incredibly important as we work to deliver innovative products to the marketplace. Our customers need devices that help them hear no matter where life takes them, and they are increasingly seeking products with wireless and smartphone connected capabilities. The Baha 5 portfolio of sound processors provides all of that.”

The Baha 5 portfolio is comprised of three industry-leading devices for varying degrees of hearing loss:

  • Baha 5 Sound Processor: Launched last year, the Baha 5 Sound Processor is the industry’s smallest bone conduction sound processor with a fitting range up to 45 dB SNHL.2 It is also the implantable hearing industry’s first Made for iPhone hearing device.
  • Baha 5 Power Sound Processor: The newest device in the Baha 5 System, the Baha 5 Power Sound Processor is created for those who need additional amplification because of a greater degree of hearing loss up to 55 dB SNHL.
  • Baha 5 SuperPower Sound Processor: Cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this year, the Baha 5 SuperPower Sound Processor is the strongest member of the Baha portfolio and the most powerful head-worn solution in the industry.1 It is also the industry’s first and only behind-the-ear bone conduction solution with a fitting range up to 65 dB SNHL.

As the most powerful solution in the Baha 5 portfolio, the Baha 5 SuperPower Sound Processor is designed to help those who often struggle more than most to hear and understand speech, especially in noisy situations. Many customers may also currently use a body-worn solution but still have difficulty due to insufficient features and outdated audio processing technology. The behind-the-ear Baha 5 SuperPower Sound Processor features ear level, dual microphones to improve sound capture, an LED indicator light on the device to indicate if it is working properly, a flexible earhook offered in a variety of sizes for comfort, easy to use volume and program control buttons to allow users more control over their hearing, and it comes with a convenient rechargeable battery.

The Baha 5 Power Sound Processor is designed for customers who need more power, longer battery life and on-device control. It provides users more control over their hearing by featuring a volume rocker for easy volume control and an LED indicator light on the device to indicate if the device is working properly. In addition, the device has a long battery life, providing up to 160 hours depending on streaming and daily usage.

All sound processors in the Baha 5 portfolio share the same unique technology building blocks to deliver a smart and seamless hearing experience to all users. Each device in the portfolio also provides the customer an option between two sound processor connection options: an abutment system (Baha Connect System) and a magnetic system (Baha Attract System).

Smart connectivity

The Baha 5 portfolio consists of smart processors with direct-to-device wireless streaming and control with Made for iPhone support. This provides a direct connection to iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® devices for phone calls, FaceTime® calls and music in high-quality stereo sound, with no intermediary device needed.

The smart processors also support Bluetooth® Smart technology, the Baha 5 Smart App, and access to Cochlear™ True Wireless™ accessories.

The Baha 5 Smart App is the first Smart App for bone conduction devices. The Smart App allows for advanced control of all Baha 5 sound processors and wireless accessories, further personalization and support directly from iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Through the Smart App, a user can quickly and easily change programs, adjust volume, modify treble and bass, save custom settings for favorite locations, and receive help finding a sound processor if misplaced.

All Baha 5 sound processors are designed to help customers experience clearer, crisper sound and hear what people are saying even in noisy environments. The key to the sound experience is the revolutionary SmartSound® iQ technology, which automatically selects the appropriate program based on where one is located and optimizes the sound to enhance hearing in that listening environment. Whether at work or in a noisy restaurant, a user won’t have to guess which setting is best; the sound processor will decide.

The Baha 5 Power and Baha 5 SuperPower Sound Processors are now available commercially for customers in the U.S. The Baha 5 has been commercially available in the U.S. since April 2015.

About Bone Conduction Implants

Bone conduction systems are a proven medical option for adults and children with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss, and single-sided sensorineural deafness meeting the candidacy criteria. While a hearing aid tries to push sound through the damaged part of the ear, bone conduction systems bypass the damaged area and send sound directly to the inner ear. They are designed to help those who receive little or no benefit from hearing aids hear and communicate more effectively.

About Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH)

Cochlear is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions. The company has a global workforce of 2,800 people and invests more than AUS$100 million a year in research and development. Products include cochlear implants, bone conduction and acoustic implants, which are designed to treat a range of moderate to profound types of hearing loss.

Over 450,000 people of all ages, across more than 100 countries, now hear because of Cochlear.

www.cochlear.com/us

# # #

1. Norrman, J, Review of fitting ranges. Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions AB, D773528, 2015.

2. Flynn MC. Smart and Small –innovative technologies behind the Cochlear Baha 5 Sound Processor. Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions AB, 629761, 2015.

Cochlear Baha 5 sound processors are compatible with iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone SE, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini 4, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2, iPad mini with retina display, iPad mini and iPod touch (5th generation) running iOS 7.X or later.

The Cochlear Baha 5 Smart App works together with all Cochlear Baha 5 sound processors. It is verified on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch running iOS 9.1. For more detailed device compatibility see the Baha 5 Smart App description on the App Store.

The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Cochlear is under license.

iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and FaceTime are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.

©Cochlear Limited 2016. All rights reserved. Hear now. And always and other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of Cochlear Limited or Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions AB. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Update on the Ear Community Organization’s website…

Ear Community

Ear Community

Update on the Ear Community Organization’s website:

The Ear Community Organization’s website is now www.EarCommunity.org  However, the www.EarCommunity.com will continue to be owned by the Ear Community Organization and will be redirected to the .org domain address.  All website visitors who visit our  .com domain address will automatically be redirected to the .org address.

Thanks!
Melissa Tumblin
The Ear Community Organization
www.EarCommunity.org

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