ANA Discussion Forum
General Category => Hearing Issues => Topic started by: terp1974 on August 18, 2017, 02:25:39 pm
I used to wear a SoundBite until it stopped working (it lasted less than 2 years). My quality of life has suffered as a result of SSD. I would like to hear from those who are using a Ponto.
How do you like the product? What are the benefits?
Do you have any issues with it?
How long do the batteries last? Are they rechargeable?
What are the advantages of a Ponto over a BAHA or other products?
(Translab, 2.3 cm, removed August 2011)
Hi terp1974 .....
My Ponto Pro abutment was implanted during my translab AN removal six years ago. To answer your questions:
I love the product. Early on I fell when carrying a basket of laundry up my stairs and had a direct hit on the Ponto, damaging it. Oticon Medical replaced it with an overnight delivery, free of charge, already programmed with my settings. Since then, zero issues for over five years.
The benefits: (1) it enables me to know someone is talking on my deaf side, as well as traffic noises from that side; (2) for whatever reason, it helps to stabilize me when walking. If I forget to put the processor on before going outside of my home, I know it immediately by greater instability. (3) It allows more complete listening to concerts because I have input from two sides of my head (both inputs reach only the good auditory nerve, of course, but it still makes for a fuller sound).
No issues with it whatsoever.
My battery typically lasts about 10 days, but sometimes longer, depending on length of use each day. Normally I put it on after my shower in the morning and forget about it until getting ready for bed at night. The batteries are not rechargeable.
Each potential user of a bone-anchored hearing device should try to demo both the Oticon Medical Ponto and the Cochlear BAHA. They work essentially the same, with the exception of slightly different "bells and whistles." The main differences are the sizes/colors and the sound quality. For me, I preferred the more natural sound from the Ponto but others chose the BAHA for diffferent reasons.
Hope that helps. Best wishes.
I am a Cochlear BAHA user and have been since 2014. I just wanted to chime in with my thoughts.
I totally agree with Clarice on the benefits of wearing any BAHA unit ( Cochlear or Oticon Medical ),, it doesn't restore your hearing to exactly what it was but it definitely has benefits that add to quality of life.
The Cochlear unit that I just upgraded to is the 5 power. The quality of sound is amazing and quite natural. The unit has 4 programs that can be computer adjusted by your audiologist to help in different situations. One being " normal" settings, one for noise reduction as in restaurants or crowded areas, one for music settings, and the last is wifi ( which I have not used yet as I only received my new unit in June!).
The processor will sync with Bluetooth to an iPhone if you have one. This is a nice feature my other unit did not have which allows phone calls to be directed into the unit. There is even an app for it which allows you to control it from your phone ( such as volume, changing between programs, finding it if it gets lost,,and more)
I just wanted to point out those features of the Cochlear unit.
As Clarice says though, if possible you should test each manufacturer's latest models for your preference. Sometimes you may have to visit different audiologists as I don't think most groups offer both manufacturers,,,
Good luck with your search for better hearing again! Help is out there,,,
Thank you very much for your response. The Ponto sounds very impressive. It almost sounds like that when you wear it, you have some degree of directional hearing. I tell the newly diagnosed members of our chapter, that the scariest words they will hear after surgery are "Come Here". I don't know where "here" is.
My audiologist mentioned the following terms when comparing Ponto to BAHA Cochlear:
What does "Feedback Management" mean to you?
What is "Feedback Control" mean to you?
What is Ponto "Water Resistance" mean to you?
Thank you for your feedback on Cochlear.
About 3 years ago, we had hearing aid and hearing appliance reps come to our local chapter meeting (NC). It was probably the most attended meeting I have been to. The reps from SoundBite came and I was sold on the technology. At this stage, I am interested in pursuing either a Ponto or BAHA Cochlear since my SoundBite did not last 2 years.
I will schedule/coordinate another meeting next year with my audiologists and take your advice about trying Ponto and Cochlear out to see what works best for me. My quality of life has suffered since my SoundBite stopped working. I am encouraged by both of your comments. You mentioned that your audiologist is able to program yours for different situations or venues. Does this mean that no matter where you are, your Cochlear device will adjust to a public venue or a quiet locale?
Yes it will automatically adjust to situation or you can control it yourself with a button on the processor or by the phone app. Mine automatically comes on to the default #1 program ; however. I prefer the #2 program more often than not. Just seems clearer to me and less noise from background ( which is exactly how she programmed it),,, and as I say,, she can tweak it on the computer program to my needs. Very helpful, ,,
I hope you will be able to " try" both devices before you decide. I never tried the Oticon as it is not available at any office I am aware of close to me. So I can't say how it differs,, I just know that after wearing the BAHA 4 for 2 years,, this new 5 power is wonderful and the difference in night and day!
Not sure what the audiologist is getting at with her questions about feedback. ?? As I say, mine can be programmed to eliminate much of the surrounding noise in a situation , and I only get feedback if I touch the processor while it's on, I guess similar to what a microphone used to do sometimes ,,,
And as far as water resistance,, you can't wear it in the water and you are told not to get soaked in a rain storm if possible. Mine comes with a jar of drying beads to keep it in at night.
Anyway,, good luck in finding an audiologist that can demonstrate both units for you. SSD is not THAT bad,, but this new BAHA I have definitely makes life a little sweeter 8)
Hi Stew .....
As I am sure you have been told, an implanted device sounds much better than a headband demo, for either brand. That being said, no device can give you directionality like normal hearing if your auditory nerve has been removed on one side. The bone-anchored devices simply transmit the incoming sound to the good nerve.
Unfortunately the posts are different sizes between Oticon Medical and Cochlear so one cannot have the post put in and then try out each one. So I can only speak from my experience with the Ponto. I have zero issues with feedback, unless I wear a hat/cap/hood that touches and covers the processor when being used, then it is a matter of pulling the fabric away from touching it and is is normal. Therefore, I have had no need to adjust the feedback control on mine. As for water, I treat my Ponto like I do my cell phone, which I would not put in water. If needing to walk in the rain without protection, I put my hand over mine. Obviously I do not wear it swimming or in the shower. I have never put mine into drying beads and never had any issues related to moisture. The old "rice trick" for accidental dunking of cell phones would probably work the same for BAHAs.
Thank you for the feedback (no pun intended) on the Ponto. Since my AN was removed by Translab 6 years ago, I no longer have a hearing nerve. One of our chapter members told me that when she went in for the MIPS, the otolaryngologist instructed her to bring in a hat so he could determine the proper location.
My SoundBite required me to wear multiple parts. It sounds like the only part you wear for a Ponto is the processor. Is this correct? No more wires to break! Nothing in the mouth!
I guess there is no problem getting the abutment (spelling?) wet.
This week, I finally saw someone wearing a Cochlear. I had no idea what it was until he told me.
It sounds like Ponto also has some type of program that if they update the technology, there is a way to obtain a new processor. Do you know anything about this?
Hi Stew .....
To answer your questions:
Once the abutment is implanted and fully osseointegrated, the only part to the Ponto system is the removable processor, which should be kept dry. The abutment is part of your head so it is perfectly safe to get wet.
As for the update in technology, you would need to check with your audiologist and/or Oticon Medical and/or your insurance company, depending upon how long you have been wearing the Ponto before an upgrade/update is released. Most insurance companies will not pay for an upgrade in less than five years. However, it is my understanding that if your Ponto should have a manufacturing issue OR you break/destroy yours, it will be replaced with the latest technology.
Here is a link to the FAQs on the Oticon Medical site: https://www.oticonmedical.com/bone-conduction/new-to-bone-conduction/living-with-a-ponto/ponto-frequently-asked-questions (https://www.oticonmedical.com/bone-conduction/new-to-bone-conduction/living-with-a-ponto/ponto-frequently-asked-questions)
I have been wearing my Ponto for six years now with zero issues with the product, other than about a year after receiving the original one, I fell and banged my head right on the processor, breaking it. I returned it to Oticon Medical and it was replaced overnight with my programming, free of charge.
I explored the SoundBite briefly when it was still in development but did not give it serious consideration because of the multiple parts and having something extra in my mouth. ;D However, I think the product had merit as another option for hearing assistance so I am sorry they went out of business.
Good luck. Clarice