Does your child have a type of malformed ear, known as atresia? Michael's story below isn't real, but is based on the experiences of children with atresia and their parents. If this story reflects your child's hearing loss journey, then a bone conduction system could be a solution for your family.
Michael was born with Aural Atresia, which meant that his ear canal was closed off by abnormal skin and bone growth. His atresia caused conductive hearing loss. Discover how the ADHEAR bone conduction system helped Michael to hear and get the best start in life.
When Michael was born, he was healthy, but one of his ears looked different. Our doctor explained that he was born with something called “atresia”. This meant that his right ear didn’t develop fully before he was born. It was smaller than his left ear, and his ear canal was covered up by skin. This made it really hard for sounds to go into that ear.
We took Michael to hearing specialists as he was growing up, and he was fitted with a special kind of headband hearing aid. It was a bone conduction headband, so the audio processor was pressed up against his head and vibrated to send sound signals through his head bones to his inner ear. He wasn’t very happy with it, because it was always tight and uncomfortable, but he had to wear it, or else he would miss a lot of sounds.
When Michael started kindergarten, his teachers explained his headband to his classmates and told them he had “helper ears”. The other children were usually very nice, but he always acted shy and self-conscious when he was wearing that headband. He couldn’t wait to get home to take it off at the end of the day.
A New Solution
Shortly before he started school, Michael had a routine visit with his audiologist. He told his audiologist that he really liked being able to hear his friends, but his headband was really annoying. The audiologist took us aside and told us that there was another option. It was a bone conduction system that would just “stick” to Michael’s skin, similar to a plaster. Unlike the headband, this device didn’t need to put pressure on the skin in order to work, making it much more comfortable for Michael.
Making the Decision
We scheduled an appointment with a specialist so that we could learn more about the ADHEAR bone conduction system. Michael was really excited to see how small the audio processor was—he would be able to hide it under his curly hair and his new classmates wouldn’t even know he was wearing it.
The specialist then explained that we could try ADHEAR right away, so we gave it a go in his office. Michael took to it immediately! He could hear everything so clearly—not just our familiar voices but the specialist too. And it didn’t make his skin all red like the headband had. Michael seemed very keen, so we decided to take an ADHEAR home with us and see if it was the hearing device for him.
A Bright Future
Michael’s first days with ADHEAR were pretty exciting. We tried it out in lots of different places, like the playground and the supermarket, and he had fun decorating it with the different stickers. ADHEAR was so comfortable that after a while, Michael would forget he was even wearing anything!
When he started school, all of Michael’s friends were blown away. How could he hear them without his headband? Michael’s audio processor was covered by his hair, so to the other children, it seemed like a miracle. And for us, it really was. ADHEAR has made a huge difference not just to Michael’s hearing, but also to his confidence and his overall happiness. He now has the bright future we’d always dreamed he would have.
Why Michael’s Parents Chose MED-EL
Comfortable to wear
Michael found his old bone conduction headband uncomfortable, and didn’t like wearing it for more than few hours. As ADHEAR doesn’t put any pressure on the skin, Michael finds it a lot more comfortable to wear and has it on all day long—meaning he gets the most out of his new hearing.
As Michael was about to start school, his parents wanted a quick solution to their son’s hearing loss. Because ADHEAR simply “sticks” to the skin behind your ear, Michael was able to try it out in the audiologist’s office and immediately find out if it was the hearing solution for him.
Easy to use
Michael's parents wanted a solution that would fit into their family's daily routine. ADHEAR is so easy to attach each morning that Michael can now do it himself. The family also don't have to worry about daily skin care, which is necessary with some other bone conduction systems.
It was important that Michael would experience optimal hearing at all times, particularly in his noisy classroom. ADHEAR is designed to give clear, natural sound quality, even in busy environments. This helps Michael to hear his teacher—and his friends—more clearly.
Wearing a headband made Michael feel self-conscious and his parents were looking for a more discreet option. Michael’s curly hair would cover ADHEAR completely, making it almost invisible to other people. His parents were pleased to see how confident Michael is with his new device.
These profiles are composites based on real recipients’ experiences. These profiles should not be considered as medical advice or recommendations. These hearing loss profiles are designed to help people better understand the overall hearing journey. Every individual’s hearing is different, so you should speak to your clinician to find out what is best for your needs.
ADHEAR is a revolutionary bone conduction system for individuals with conductive hearing loss. Find out how ADHEAR can make your life easier.
Want to hear about the experiences of real users? Check out our User Stories, and see what life is like with a MED-EL hearing solution.
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