Its by far the best decision I have ever made
Leah Rimmer, a Ponto 3 SuperPower user, shares her experience of BAHS treatment after suffering severe hearing loss as a teeanager from Ostosclerosis. She describes that getting BAHS treatment was “by far the best decision” she has ever made, which has given her the confidence to travel and study BSL at University.
Before starting her BAHS journey at the age of 21, Leah would often get questions such as “why do you never speak?” or “you are really shy aren’t you?” which she states was more often the result because she could not hear them; “A lot of the time I’d miss when I was being spoken to, and when I did hear, I’d often not hear them clear enough to communicate effectively”. Leah also recalls the challenges she had as a late teen in social environments; “ I remember thinking people were whispering about me… turns out they were just speaking at a normal level, but I couldn’t hear them so I just assumed they were whispering and it must have been about me.” This caused Leah to lose a lot of her confidence in social enivronments, with the “paranoia/anxiety caused by mishearing things made socialising very difficult”.
Leah received her BAHS treatment in 2014 and was overwhelmed about the impact it has had on her life; “I wasn’t expecting how life changing it would be. Even though I was aided with a BTE aid - the difference was phenomenal, I trialled a Ponto device on a headband and from the moment I heard the sound… the quality, how clear sound was, how realistic the sound was – I was sold, no one could’ve convinced me otherwise.” After receiving her first BAHS processor, a Ponto Plus, Leah became very aware of how much the hearing loss had been impacting her confidence, making it much difficult for her to participate in the hearing community; “With my Ponto it now meant I was more on their level, I could engage more, I could finally be more involved.”
Leah recalls a situation, not long after her surgery, where she was using her microwave: I could hear something, an annoying noise, it was like a whining and a sound I’d not heard so loud before. I even opened the back door to see if there was a helicopter or plane flying over my home… but no… it was the microwave! I knew microwaves made sound but with the Ponto it sounded so different.”
Upon hearing the reviews of Ponto 3 SuperPower before being upgaded to it, Leah was in disbelief thinking “what I already had was so incredibly good that it MUST just be people being dramatic.” When being upgraded, Leah noticed the difference; “conversations in crowded places were a lot easier, less wind noise, and less feedback”.
Now at the age of 26 and studying British Sign Language for the last two years at university, Leah concludes, in a nutshell, what she believes her BAHS treatment has done for her; My BAHS enables me to be a part of everything… I have the option to be in the hearing world, I have the option to hear or to not hear. If it wasn’t for my BAHS I wouldn’t have been able to study British Sign Language at university for 2 years. I love to travel and pre-BAHS this was extremely difficult for me – not only with the lack of confidence and anxiety I suffered with because of the lack of hearing, but also because I can’t hear announcements without my BAHS clearly! With my Ponto 3 SuperPower this is effortless.”