“I am not a crier, but when I put the Ponto Plus on I almost started crying. I could hear, and it was clear.”

Nancy Smith Oberman tried a number of solutions before finding success with the Ponto Plus. Nancy, diagnosed with otosclerosis at age 17, lost the hearing in her left ear. She had her first stapedectomy in 1973.


Nancy Smith Oberman

Name: Nancy Smith Oberman
Profession: Self-defence and firearm instructor for law enforcement/corrections
Indication: Single-sided deafness

Even though the surgery was successful, Nancy was left with a conductive hearing loss in her left ear, and she still needed to use a hearing aid. She had a second stapedectomy on her right ear 12 years later.

“Oticon Medical had what I needed; others didn’t. I upgraded from a Cochlear BP110 Power to the Ponto Plus Power with the Oticon Medical Streamer, and I love it! I’m so happy!”

Trying different systems

Unfortunately, two years later, she woke up unable to hear on her right side. After being told her right side was untreatable, she purchased the BiCROS system, which did not work well in her work environment. After searching for another solution for her single-sided deafness (SSD), she requested a bone anchored hearing system and this was implanted in 2007. She was fitted with the Cordelle II, a body-worn processor. As a retired law enforcement officer who now teaches self-defence and firearm courses for law enforcement and corrections officers, she found it to be very intrusive and difficult to wear comfortably. “I am extremely physically active, and it just wasn’t conducive to that type of lifestyle.” 

Looking for a different solution, she visited her ENT in 2013 and got her second bone anchored hearing system — a BP110 Power. She was so excited to no longer be tethered by a wire to a body unit, but Nancy felt let down by the experience. “I had constant feedback. I had a foghorn sound that would drive me crazy. So I took it back to my audiologist, who sent it out for repair. I got it back and it did the exact same thing,” Nancy explained.

Finding help on Facebook 

Continuing her search for the right solution online, like many do, Nancy found the BAHA World Hearing Facebook group and became friends with the group’s founder, Angela Sabal. “Angela was talking a lot about the Ponto and Oticon Medical. She convinced me to give it a shot. I went back to my audiologist. They were not offering the Ponto at the time. But, because I mentioned it, they decided to get on board. I was the first person to use an Oticon Medical device at their office.”

The right solution for Nancy’s hearing loss

The day Nancy was fitted with her Ponto Plus, she knew she finally had the right solution for the profound hearing loss she had experienced for most of her adult life. 

“I am not a crier, but when I put the Ponto Plus on I almost started crying. I could hear; it was clear. There was no feedback, no buzzing. Then, they turned on the Streamer and hooked it up to my phone. Wowza — I have not looked back since.” 

Today, Nancy shares her experience online to help people in the same way that Angela and others from the BAHA World Hearing Facebook group helped her find the right solution. 

“Angela and I are in touch almost daily. If it weren’t for her, I would never have mentioned it to my doctor. My doctor would not have talked to Oticon Medical, and I would still be suffering and dealing with my SSD. Oticon Medical truly cares about everyone, even those of us in the severe-to-profound range,” Nancy says with a smile.