How the Baha System helped Jamie pursue her love of music: guest blog

This blog was adapted from its original article on Hear and Now, a Cochlear Americas recipient blog. Read it here.


 

Jamie G. has conductive hearing loss, and the Baha System has helped her pursue her love of music.

Jamie G. has conductive hearing loss, and the Baha System has helped her pursue her love of music.

At the age of 14, I was asked by my otolaryngologist what I wanted to be when I grew up. Excitedly, I told him I wanted to be a singer. He then explained that music wouldn’t be a good choice for me.

I developed many ear infections and battled a cholesteatoma in my early years. I lost most of my hearing in my left ear even after numerous reconstruction surgeries. Because of this, my ability to sing should be out of the question. Shortly after that, I sent him a tape of my recordings. After a listen, my doctor wholeheartedly supported my decision to pursue music.

Hearing loss certainly didn’t make my life easy. It made me withdrawn, depressed and a shy girl in school. But music was one avenue that made me feel confident and secure. I loved feeling the sounds of the bass in my chest as I listened to my favorite artist, the drums vibrating in my feet, or the soprano’s high notes bringing my hearing to clarity. In order to perform, practicing music had to consume most of my time, but I didn’t mind. Reading music, counting rhythms and knowing chord progressions took time, but it was vital in order for me to be successful as a musician.

Thankfully, I outgrew the ugly battle with the cholesteatoma. Sadly, my hearing could never be restored. Hearing aids were not an option due to my ear’s inability to move any drainage or wax. So for 30 years I adjusted my life around my hearing loss.

In July 2015, I was referred to an ENT-otolaryngologist in Kansas City for a second opinion. That visit changed how I looked at my future. I was a strong candidate for the Baha® Implant System due to my conductive hearing loss. It didn’t take much thought to know that the Baha System was the right decision for me.

My switch-on date was December 2017. I slowly adjusted to this new, but amazing world. My world of quiet was replaced with new sounds. I could now hear that thumping bass line without having to just feel it in my chest. I could hear my voice not only when I sang those soprano notes, but I loved to hear the rich lower tones of my voice now. I didn’t have to make sure I performed in a certain spot on stage. I had the freedom to move wherever I needed to be. I still prefer to be near the drums, feeling the music in my feet and chest while I express my songs.

I chose Cochlear because of my musical lifestyle. I needed access to streaming without a separate device. But I also wanted to connect my device to any in-ear monitor system while performing. I knew I needed the best technology for my device to function in all areas of my life, so I choose the Baha 5 Sound Processor.

Jamie G. uses the Baha System to help explore her love of music.

Jamie G. uses the Baha System to help explore her love of music.

When I first got it, I made sure my settings were adjusted to my liking, and it took a few trips to the audiologist to get it just right. I love the ability to switch modes. When I listen or perform, I need my Baha 5 Sound Processor to adjust to the sound of the music. The tones I want when I sing or listen to music are certainly different that my daily mode.

I use my Cochlear True Wireless Mini Microphone every time I perform with my monitor system. Using a Y-adapter plugged into the monitor, I plug in my Mini Mic to one jack, my in-ear headphones to the other. Once I pair my Mini Mic to my Baha 5 Sound Processor, I hear every tone of the piano, the full sound of the acoustic guitar, the intricate bass line, my vocals moving in progression with the band…all in stereo – in both ears!

My musicianship has improved and excelled in a way I only could dream of a few years ago. I can now lead musically, knowing exactly what needs to be done to move the band to a more unified and excellent sound.

Because of my increased musical abilities with the Baha 5 Sound Processor, I got to hit the studio for my very first recording a year after my implant. While using my Baha System, I recorded a CD with a full live band. It was a beautiful experience to see and hear my own songs come alive and to be able to hear them fully and in true form.

Hearing loss made me appreciate my gift of music through expression. But the Baha System has given me the gift to hear that expression fully.

I look forward to more recording sessions and producing many more songs that have yet to be written! To hear a sample of my music or to purchase a download of my CD, you can visit jamiegroshart.com.

The opinions expressed in this blog are my own views and not those of Cochlear.


 

If you are dealing with constant ear infections or a cholesteatoma impacting your hearing, click here to find a solution to help you get better hearing.


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Milan from Hungary loves football and his Baha 5 Sound Processor

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Baha 5 user and football enthusiast Milan Szente shows off his Baha 5 shirt at a recent launch event in Budapest, Hungary.

Milan was born with conductive hearing loss on both ears and has been wearing a Baha solution since he was little. Recently he upgraded from the BP100 to the Baha 5 System, and shared his experiences at the event. It was his very first time talking in front of a big audience!baha-5-small-smart

“I like the new drop-like shape of the Baha 5 Sound Processor, it is very elegant. My friends and family sometimes forget that I wear one, because it is so small! The new technology and the quality of sound are simply great. The accessories for it are very useful and make my life easier.”

Milan revealed that he uses all the Cochlear wireless accessories:

“Currently my favorite is the TV Streamer. I always keep the Remote Control around because it is very important for me. I use the TV Streamer daily, the Mini Mic approximately once a week at school, and the Phone Clip from time to time. When I start University I will probably use the Mini Mic more often, and if I get a job in the future I will use the Phone Clip more frequently – probably while driving.”

Milan enjoys both to play and listen to music. This summer he participated for the second time at the Beats of Cochlea Festival in Poland, an international music festival for hearing impaired people from around the world. He performed on the piece “The beginning” on the e-guitar, his own composition. Something he wouldn’t have been able to do without his Baha solution.

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But what Milan loves most is football – namely Italian team Juventus. He was actually inspired by the Cochlear representative in Central Europe, Antonio Sportelli.

“I am a Juventus fan because I have been inspired by Antonio, since I have met him. Antonio gave me a new nickname, because my name was ‘Milan’ and his favorite club is Juve, so he started calling me ‘Juve’. I am very proud of it. I love the football club because it is very cool and they play very good football. I am also a big fan of my hometown’s club ‘Videoton’. I usually go to matches with my father and friends.”

And his biggest dreams in life?

“I would like to work for Cochlear one day as they “gave me back hearing”, so I can hear now and always! Once in my life I would really like to watch a Juventus match live. I do find the Baha sound processors very interesting, so I would like to visit the Cochlear building in Sweden where they’re made. I would like to become as good in German and Swedish as I am in English (I have a level C1 language certification in English). There’s really no limits to what I can do.”

Read more: The Baha 5 Sound Processor is a Red Dot award winner

 

Using the Baha 5 with landline telephone

QuestionHi can you please advise which landline phone I could use? I have the Baha 5 Sound Processor and the Phone Clip. Or is there an accessory that I can purchase? Thanks! // Tracey

Answer: Hi Tracey. You can connect the Phone Clip to your landline phone system as long as it has Bluetooth capability. We recommend you take your Phone Clip into the store and ask the staff to help you connect it before purchasing a new landline phone. That way you can be sure it is compatible.

You might find this post helpful: Please help me adapt my Phone Clip to my office phone system

Best of luck!

//The Baha Blog team

Baha 5 sound processors are tamper-proof for your child’s safety

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Are you a parent or caregiver to a child with a Baha 5 System? Here are some tips on how to handle the battery door in your child’s sound processor!

All Baha 5 sound processors are equipped with tamper-proof features to prevent accidents from happening. Batteries, for instance can be very harmful if swallowed. You can rest assured that Cochlear has taken great measures to prevent your child from being able to open the Baha sound processor and taking out the battery.

It’s very important however that you check the sound processor on a daily basis to make sure that everything is working correctly.

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The Baha 5 Sound Processor has an optional tamper-proof battery door specifically designed for children.

To unlock the sound processor, carefully insert the tip of a pen in the small hole on the tamper-proof battery door and gently open the battery compartment. To lock the device, simply close the battery compartment until it is completely closed.

You must feel two clicks when you close it – if not, you should replace the door immediately. If the little “pin” (circled in red) is broken, the tamper-proof door won’t function as designed, and there is a risk your battery-door-pinchild could open the door. Contact your local Cochlear representative to order extra tamper-proof battery doors.

Tip: Make it a habit that every time you change the sound processor battery or start the device, to make sure the door is firmly locked by lightly trying to open it – to test that the tamper-proof is functioning.

See also: How to change the battery in the Baha 5 Sound Processor

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The Baha 5 Power and the Baha 5 SuperPower sound processors have a built-in locking mechanism in their battery doors. You lock and unlock it using the tamper-proof tool provided in the sound processor box.

To lock the battery door, as shown in this instructional video, place the locking tool into the battery door slot. Slide the locking pin up into place. To unlock, slide the locking pin down into place and gently open the battery compartment.

Should the battery door break, you can change it yourself, like this.

See also: How to change and charge the battery in Baha 5 SuperPower

What to do?

If your child still somehow should manage to swallow a battery, contact your hospital emergency department immediately. Don’t try to make him or her throw up, and avoid food and drink.

Not sure? Warning signs that a child has swallowed a battery include: excess dribbling, trouble swallowing, vomiting, coughing, choking, and unexplained chest infection.

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Psst: Download the Baha Support App to keep all instructional videos and tips in your smartphone!

 

 

 

Baha 5 user Andria: “I can talk on the phone, handsfree, while driving!”

When Andria Lewis, USA, lost her hearing suddenly, it came as a complete shock to both her and her husband.

Unable to hear and participate in the conversations around her, she withdrew into herself and stopped going out. But with the help from her Baha System, she was gradually able to return to the person she was before her hearing loss – outgoing, sociable and fun-loving.

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One of the features she loves the most is being able to talk on the phone in her car – completely wireless.

“I could be driving and want to be handsfree. The phone rings and goes directly from the phone into my Baha 5 Sound Processor. It’s just been a godsend!”

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Andria also loves the Smart App which enables her to go out hiking with her husband and easily block out the wind – or just switch to a different setting while in an outdoor café, simply by using her smartphone.

“We can go out to dinner. And going out to dinner used to mean me missing 90% of what was said. Now I have the setting that can block out noise, and I can actually sit and dine with my husband and have a conversation. It’s just such a pleasure.”

Read more: The Baha 5 Sound Processor: incredibly small – and unbelievably smart

In the news: Baha Attract surgery helps people hear again

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Seven-year-old Paige from Wisconsin, USA, was born with single-sided deafness and no ear canal on her right side.

As an infant she wore a Baha Softband, allowing her to hear and communicate just like other children. Now, at seven, she was finally fitted with a Baha 5 Attract System!

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”It’s a little more freeing”, Audiologist Sarah Childress of SSM Health said. ”So if they want to take it off and go swimming or do other activities there isn’t a post getting in the way. The other issue is the device itself has been upgraded so the computer chip on the inside is working much better, and it’s able to pair wirelessly with technology, which is giving patients an easier time out in the real world and it actually goes directly to iPhone so they can make some adjustment using an app on their phone.”

A piece of technology that could help many.

“There’s certainly a lot of patients out there that could benefit from this technology that don’t know about it so hopefully we can serve those people,” Dr. Justin McNamar added.

See the video and read the whole story here!

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Please take a Baha user survey

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We are now seeking Baha 5 Sound Processor recipients using the Baha 5 Smart App, either regularly or sporadically, to participate in a new survey. Please note that in this specific survey, we are only requesting participants aged 50 years and over.

The primary objective of this survey is to evaluate the usefulness and usability of the Baha 5 Smart App. An additional aim is to investigate which functions in the Baha 5 Smart App that are most frequently used.

The survey consists of 17 questions and estimated time for completion is about 10 minutes. Responses will only be presented as group data, meaning your answers will not be traceable back to you.

As we strive to evaluate and improve the Baha 5 Smart App, your opinions and feedback are very important to us! To participate in the survey, please click on the link below.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LVCKZVD

This survey is part of the SHiEC (Supporting Hearing in Elderly Citizens) project and is supported by Ambient Assisted Living (AAL-2013-6-065) and Vinnova. To learn more about the SHiEC project, please visit the project website:   www.SHiEC.eu

 

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