Eyeglasses for Individuals with Microtia
Whether your child has chosen not to have elective surgery for ear reconstruction, is waiting a bit longer to be old enough for Rib Graft surgery, or has chosen to have a prosthetic ear, but has vision problems and needs eye glasses you CAN of course get eye glasses for them if needed. The following contains helpful information that can help when obtaining eye glasses with out frames or light weight frames that gently hug/squeeze the temples to stay on the head for our loved ones who have Microtia.
Thanks so much!
Please Note: Prior to inquiring about custom eye wear and style options that can be fitted for children and adults with Microtia, please call an Optometry office or eye wear specialist office near you first before traveling to that office. Make sure they are familiar with eye wear for loved ones who are missing ears.
Eye glass options:
There is an eye glass manufacturer who produces light weight eye glass frames for children and adults who only have one ear or no ears at all. This eye glass manufacturer is called SWISSFLEX. Now, there are no specific eye glass frame models or styles that are made specifically for those with Microtia, but there are optional that can help. SWISSFLEX is located in Switzerland. So, most of us will have to find an authorized distributor in our country, state or city in order to inquire about having the frame-less eyeglasses made. In the United States, there is a Swissflex distributor located in California called ITALEE Optics. When you call ITALEE Optics, they will provide you with appropriate contact information for an optician’s office or eye wear specialist near you that carries the SWISSFLEX brand. ITALEE is a wholesaler/distributor for eye wear, so you can not buy directly through them. Again, please ask them for the nearest SWISSFLEX dealer located in your area. An authorized dealer who has an account with them.
Below are some examples of what can be done with SWISSFLEX eyeglass frames for Microtic and Atretic individuals:
1. Eye glasses can be made to have flexible frames that hug or squeeze the temples
2. Eye glasses may be custom made allowing them to fit and hold up the eye glasses around the head. Please tell the eye wear specialist if your child or the adult inquiring about the glasses wears a bone anchored auditory device on soft band head band or wears an implantable BAHA to help them understand more about what it is that you are looking for regarding custom eye glass frames.
3. There is also an option for cable temple tips where different tips at the end of the frame can be applied for a better fit. Ask about this option.
If you live near the Denver, Colorado, USA area you can contact the below office who has made these frame-less eye glasses by SWISSFLEX for a handful of Microtic families already.
– Eye Gallery
1 Flatiron Crossing Drive # 2052
Broomfield, CO 80021
* There are other optician offices throughout Colorado that can also order these custom eye glasses through SWISSFLEX…but you must call ITALEE Optics in California for them to give you an authorized dealer closest to you.
Contact Information for ITALEE Optics in California, USA (start by calling this office for an authorized dealer by you)
* ITALEE Optics is an authorized distributor for SWISSFLEX Eyewear
2641 West Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90006-2810
Ph: (213) 251-1098
Fon: +41 81 286 60 90
Fax: +41 81 286 60 99
* You can ask to speak with Denise Klainguti.
Another eye wear manufacturer who offers styles of eye wear that individuals having Microtia may benefit from is a company called LAFONT.
LAFONT details can be found at the following website: www.lafont.com However, if you have any trouble finding what you are looking for on LAFONT’s website, call your local Optometry office or local eye wear specialist near you to find an authorized LAFONT dealer who can help you find exactly what you are looking for.
Below are some models/styles that LAFONT offers that can help make Microtia individual’s lives a bit easier when it comes to wearing eye glasses:
* Ask about any of these styles listed above so that you can help your LAFONT dealer know more about what it is that you are looking for. Again, inform the Optometrist or eye wear specialist that you wear a bone anchored auditory device on a soft band head band or an implantable BAHA just to help them understand what you wear along with your eye glasses so that they can help you with a better option that will work the best for you.
Many of the above mentioned styles of eye wear made by Lafont look like “regular” eye glasses.
To send an e-mail to LAFONT, you can go to their “contact’s area and fill in the fields and message them about what it is you have a question about. Typically, an Optometrist or eye wear specialist will work directly with LAFONT to find the best eye wear fit for you or your child.
Also for eyeglasses for children born with Microtia and Atresia (Treacher Collins or any individual that has had an ear removed because of cancer), you can also have eyeglasses fitted and repaired by Spokiz at www.Spokiz.com
Sunglass Options for Individuals with Microtia
Click on either Eyewear or Retro Banz: They come in different colors!
Retro-inspired style large lenses
Available in Baby and Kidz sizes4 stylish color choices including Black, White, Red, and Aqua
Each pair comes with its own protective bag which doubles as a lens cleaning cloth
Lenses 100% UVA/ UVB protectionCategory 3 lenses offer high sunglare reduction and good UV protection
Durable polycarbonate Ophthalmic quality
Neoprene elastic strap matches chosen color of sunglasses and allows for flexibility, breath ability, and comfort
Side adjustable Velcro® allows for years of wear as the child grows
Retro Banz cannot be fitted with prescription lenses – if you need Rx-able frames, please see our Baby and Kidz Banz
Coolibar Sun Protection
They come in different colors
Shatter resistant polycarbonate frames
Category 3 lenses with flash mirror coating for high sun glare reduction
Breathable neoprene straps with Velcro closures on both sides for an even fit on the face
Lenses provide 100% UVA/UVB protection
Infant sun glasses are one size for ages 6 to 24 months; for older kids ages 2 to 5, see item #06801G
Bicycle Helmets for Individuals Who Wear Hearing Aids
Bicycle Helmets that Can Fit Over Hearing Aids
Looking for bicycle helmets that fit over hearing aids/BAHS/the Baha/BCHAs??? Try these two helmet websites:
Nutcase Helmets, www.nutcasehelmets.com Many Cochlear Implant (CI) users are using this helmet that is accommodating for their hearing devices. There are two layers of padding in the nutcase helmet – one in integrated in the shell and the other velcros in and out – the Velcro pads can be moved, re-positioned or missing on that side to accommodate sound processors/hearing aids. Implant kids are using this for biking, skate boarding, etc…and I bet BAHA/BAHS kids can too!
Here’s another website: http://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/article/tsg-introduce-complete-line-of-child-specific-evolution-helmets-8178 I tried one of these on at the hearing aid technology fair I attended at Children’s hospital. Notice how there is a cut out above the ear, unlike traditional bike helmets. I tried one of these helmets on and I was amazed at how much room was above the ear. This would make it so much easier to be active on a bike while being same at the same time because you can wear your BAHA/BCHA (implantable or on a soft band). The staff member who brought her hat in that I tried on wears a Cochlear implant herself.
Neighborhood Traffic Signs for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Did you know that it is possible to obtain a traffic sign or street sign for your neighborhood through the city or county that you live in if you are concerned for the safety of your child when playing outside due to their hearing loss? Yes. Try it and see what happens. Not all cities and counties will provide a sign. However, many do. The first thing you would have to do is to contact your city/county and ask to speak with a traffic engineer. The traffic engineer will ask you to draw a picture of your street suggesting where you would like to have the street signs. The street signs may say “Deaf Child,” “Warning, Deaf Child at Play,” or “Hard of Hearing Child at Play.” Whatever the standard sign for this concern is will be offered. Send in your letter requesting the sign with the drawing of your street. Someone should get back to you informing you as to when the signs will be posted. The city/county will put the signs where they think they will go best. For example, if an existing pole is near where you suggesting putting the sign, the city/county will add the sign to that existing pole. Otherwise, they will add a new pole or sign with a pole. Call your city/county when you are done with the sign so that they may recycle it or use if for someone else. If you are trying to get a “Deaf Child” sign for your neighborhood and are told “no” by your city/county…try these tips: Contact your City Council along with a note from your doctor, go to your local news station with the situation and contact the ADA (the American Disabilities Act). This should definitely help. It is horrible to turn something away for a child – children, they are our future. * If your child is old enough and doesn’t like the sign bringing attention him/her being hard of hearing (from already being labeled at school, etc…), then listen to what our child is requesting and have the sign removed. Chances are, they are now old enough to watch out for themselves better than they were when you first requested the sign. The above image is an example of what a “Deaf Child” sign looks like.
Custom and Designer Soft Band Head Bands
For anyone who has experienced head aches when wearing their BAHA soft band head band or that it often slips down too easily, visit the following websites for help on making your own head bands and purchasing accessories that can help you or your child wear your BAHAs easier and more comfortably:
Go to www.forwerd.net and try what is called a block.
Go to www.hearbands.homestead.com for a custom soft band head band.
Go to www.meandmybow.com for a custom soft band head band.
Go to www.huggieaids.com for suede soft band head bands that may not slip as much or you may contact Huggie Aids Too at the below address:
Huggie Aids Too
Kerri A. Betterton
2120 S I-35 Service Road
Oklahoma City, OK 73129
Fax: 405 232-7848
Make your own head bands
Lean how easy it is to make your very own soft band head bands. The below instructions were submitted by our support group member, Kristin Logsdon, Kristin may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Several people have posted about alternatives to the softband. I have made several of these and my daughter and nephew say they like them much better. It’s super simple. Go to the grocery or big box store and buy a pack of Goody Stay Fit headbands (in the hair accessories isle), they come in several colors and are either .5 inch or 1 inch wide. Measure your child’s head where you want to place the headband and then subtract 1-2 inches. Cut the headband (I usually cut at the seam), carefully use a seam ripper to remove the plastic piece off of your softband (this is in case your child doesn’t like it you can easily sew it back on), sew the plastic piece on the Goody band exactly like it is on the softband. I ad a tiny drop of super glue on the edges to keep them from fraying. These have elastic in them and do stretch out after a few months, but the cost is much cheaper then buying the softbands and the added comfort is worth it. For girls you can dress them up with a bow. Boys like them too because they come in boyish colors. I’m happy to make some for people if you are intimidated by even a little sewing 😉 just message me. Also add me as a friend and you can see pictures of my daughter wearing them.”
Accessories for BAHAs
BAHA sterile healing caps and other accessories, such as dryer kits and safety lines. If you can’t find information on Connevans, type BAHA Healing Cap in the search box and it will come up along with other optional accessories you may be interested in.
Drying Kits, Safety Lines, and More
Ear gear is a neoprene-like cover that slips over a hearing aid or BAHA or any bone conduction osteo-integrated auditory device protecting it against sweat, moisture, dirt, and loss. Ear Gear even helps to keep eye glasses on better and from slipping.
11651 McGowan Road
Lake Country, British Columbia
Toll Free US / Canada: 1-888-766-1838
International Tel: 00-1-250-766-1838
Protective Ear Gear (for sports)
Protective Ear Gear
Have you ever wondered if there are ear protectors available for your children to wear during sports? Well, if they are in baseball/T-Ball they wear a protective helmet…same thing with football. However, if interested in still protecting the ear(s) during sports like volleyball and basketball or martial arts you can order ear protectors for them. The link below can provide information on these ear protectors.
This information was provided by one of our group members, Victoria. Thanks Victoria! Her son is in MMA (mixed martial arts), has had Medpor surgery and has not yet been kicked or hit in his ear.
Ear Plugs for Ears During Swimming
Another helpful Swimming Accessory by Finisinc.
Waterproof SwiMP3 Player
Using Bone Conduction audio transmission the SwiMP3 waterproof MP3 player provides the highest quality underwater sound without ear buds. 2GB of storage holds approximately 500 songs, or 30 hours of music. Swimmers can listen to music, audio books, podcasts and more, all with incredible clarity.
Hunting Ear Plugs or Protective Ear Plugs
Buy the orange putty-like ear plugs that you can mold to fit in your ear. You can buy them from most drug stores and convenient stores such Walmart, CVS, Longs Drug, and Walgreens or at http://www.earplugstore.com/silnatrubear.html
Ear Plugs for Airplane Use to Help Relieve Pressure
Ear plugs called “Ear Plane” that can gently bend into narrow canals (such as for children’s ears) and help relieve cabin pressure while flying. These will help if you are concerned about pressure build up in the ear or if you already do have pressure build up in your ears when flying. These ear plugs can be purchased at Walmart, CVS, Longs Drug, or Walgreens. However, they usually carry adult sizes only in stock. For children’s sizes you can order them in advance on line at a CVS/Longs Drug/Walgreens.
Head Phones by Audio Bone
Audio Bone Headphones are a safer, more convenient way to listen to music.
Ear Buds can be uncomfortable and dangerous, because they block your ears. Audio Bone loops over your ear, and transmits stereo music through your bones directly to your inner ear.
With Audio Bone you can listen to your favorite music, but still hear everything going on around you.
Audio Bone is safer for your eardrums and more comfortable. Listen all day without hurting your ears.
AfterShokz Sport Head Phones
1801 Burnet Avenue, Suite 102
Syracuse, NY 13206
Far End Gear
Far End Gear, formerly known as One Good EarbudTM is the ideal way to safely listen to music, podcasts, audio books, and mobile calls while running, cycling, snowboarding, or working out at the gym. Our custom-designed earphone mixes both channels of sound from a stereo audio device into a single ear – enabling the wearer to maintain alertness in any environment.
In addition to its safety benefits, Far End Gear products can also allow individuals with a single-sided hearing impairment to finally enjoy fuller sound.
Protective Ear and Head Wraps
Protective Ear Wraps for Swimming
To be used over ear plugs and helps them stay in while swimming.
To be used over ear plugs and helps them stay in while swimming.
Protective Head Wraps Following Ear Reconstructive Surgery
(Canalplasty, Rib Graft, or Medpor)
When having Medpor or canalplasty ear reconstructive surgery (sometimes Rib Graft), you may be asked to purchase a special hat to help cover up the newly reconstructed ear and bandages/ear cup. The caps can also help prevent any moisture from getting in (such as during a rub down or light bath). The hats are not water proof or water resistant, but they can cover the bandages helping prevent any water from wetting the bandages and getting into the cup. If you can not find the Nike Skull Cap you can also purchase the Under Armour Skull Cap. Please make sure that you purchase the correct hat that the surgeons suggest, just to make sure the sides of the hat are big enough to stretch over the ear cup. Information on these skull caps are below:
1. The Under Armour Skull Cap costs $14.99 and is one size. This item can be purchased on line from Under Armour:
2. BIG 5 SPORTING GOODS
6601 WILSHIRE BLVD.
LOS ANGELES, CA 90048
3. Sports Athority Stores http://www.sportsauthority.com
4. Dicks Sporting Goods Stores http://www.dickssportinggoods.com
5. Or any other location that sells sports accessories/Under Armour products.
6. Here is the information for the Nike skull cap 🙂
The Nike hats cost around $18.00 (USD). These hats are for after canalplasty and ear reconstructive surgery. If you have trouble finding the hats at Nike.com go to this website or look for the hats on on-line through Amazon, etc…
The Nike Skull Caps have been hard to get lately. They are available at FootLoker Stores. It is a stretchy fabric and you can find a picture of it at http://www.footlocker.com
Thank you Carol for telling me about the Under Armour option through Dr. Reinisch’s office.
Another company called Lululemon for Yoga wear also offers stretch caps. Some are like the Nike and UnderArmour hats and others are longer and stretchier called “toque caps.” If you can not find the hats at http://shop.lululemon.com then check eBay and other areas on line. Another website I found with lots of selection is: http://www.google.com/#q=Lululemon+hats&hl=en&prmd=ivns&source=univ&tbm=shop&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=UATcTcjjJ8Hf0QGthMnYDw&ved=0CF8QrQQ&fp=c0c1da2a43bff41f. These hats range in price anywhere from $7.00 USD to about $20.00 (USD).
The Romo-Guard was designed by Dr. Romo specifically for reconstruction surgeries. It provides increased clearance above the ear so as to reduce the risks of bandage slippage. Due to the guard’s secure fit to the head, there is a reduced risk of pressure on the bandaged wound, and the chance of infection is greatly reduced. A poorly designed or improperly used ear protector can cause skin injury or skin irritation. Dr. Romo’s modern design has a thicker, softer foam padding making it superior to the thirty-year-old design of the Glasscock™ ear dressing. Dr. Romo’s design matches the shape of an ear in that the back edge is higher where the back of the ear is further from the head. Because of this it conforms to the head securely and increases the patient’s comfort. Because of this design, the Romo-Guard™ prevents the dressing from resting on the healing ear. This protects against the possibility of necrosis—the death of tissue caused by loss of blood supply. The Romo-Guard™ Ear Protector and Ear Dressing can be ordered by phone: 800-844-3059 or by fax: 951-304-7562.
Another option to the skull cap is a doorag night wrap and ti can be purchased at any Sally Beauty Supply store. The night wraps keeps moisture out and costs anywhere from $1.86 to $3.29 (USD). The wrap can be found at http://www.sallybeauty.com/Satin-Nites-Wrap/SBS-480774,default,pd.html?cm_vc=SEARCH Thank you to our memeber Laura Wicks for telling us about this product! It is product #774.