teaching with hearing loss
Tips for teaching with hearing loss
June 5, 2018
social outings with hearing loss
5 tips to prepare for social outings with hearing loss
June 11, 2018

Community Spotlight: How Phonak Cros II hearing aids made a difference in Dominic’s life

Phonak Cros II

Dominic Ehnisz is 13 years-old and has single-sided deafness. 

When Dominic was just three years old, his mom, Danielle Hurst-Ehnisz, sensed that there was something going on with Dominic, but she couldn’t exactly place what it was. 

“I had a feeling that something wasn’t right so I booked an appointment with an audiologist,” Danielle said.

He was officially diagnosed with a single-sided deafness in his right ear when he was three years old. Although his mom had suspected Dominic’s hearing loss, it still came as a surprise to her and her family.

“We were devastated, we had no idea how this would affect him long term,” Danielle recalled. 

She took him for a second opinion and the results were the same. Once Danielle heard from two audiologists that Dominic had a hearing loss, she began researching all the ways that she could accommodate her son both in and outside their home. 

The journey to hearing aids

Danielle knew that Dominic would benefit from hearing technology, but she wasn’t sure about what her options were. After receiving guidance, she made sure Dominic’s classroom was equipped with a classroom sound-field system and that he had preferential seating in his class. 

Unfortunately, Dominic still had a hard time hearing at school and would arrive home after school with migraines. 

“For years I looked into getting a hearing device that could help him, but there really was not a device that I found that would have been beneficial for Dominic.” 

It seemed like Danielle had tried many different avenues, but kept returning to the same answer. 

“The hearing aid clinic did not think a hearing aid would benefit him, they felt that we should stick to just the sound field system in class.”

Despite what they said, Danielle continued to look for a different resource and came across the Phonak Cros II. Dominic was fit with Phonak CROS II  and a hearing aid when he was nine years old and it immediately made a difference in his life. The Phonak CROS II is a microphone that Dominic wears on his poorer ear that wirelessly sends sound across to the hearing aid on his better ear.

“We saw an immediate difference in almost every aspect of his daily life,” says Danielle. 

“We saw an immediate difference in almost every aspect of his daily life.”

How Phonak Cros II changed Dominic’s life

Dominic has had a positive experience with his Phonak Cros II  and hearing aid. He wears them all day and his mom says that “they are now a part of him.”

For Dominic, the benefits of using the CROS system are that he can hear what is being said during school group work, he can hear his peers when they speak during class and he doesn’t have to turn his head to his good ear when someone strikes up a conversation with him.

His hearing aids have also really helped him while he is playing sports. He can now hear both his teammates and his coach while he is playing. 

Danielle still can’t believe she was advised not to get Dominic hearing aids and is so happy that she made the decision to have him fit with the Phonak CROS II. 

Read more: Switching on my Phonak CROS

“We were not encouraged to get Dominic a hearing aid device,” Danielle explains.  “It was a decision I made based on the frustrations I noticed with Dominic and read about from other parents with children who have single-sided deafness.”

Overall, Danielle is happy with her decision and her son Dominic is thriving with his hearing technology.

“I definitely believe that the Phonak Cros II has only had a positive influence on Dominic’s daily life,” said Danielle. “I would encourage other parents with children who have single-sided deafness to look into the benefits of the Phonak Cros II.  It could make a huge difference in their child’s life.”

Does your child have single-sided deafness or a unilateral hearing loss? What technology has worked best for you? Let us know in the comments.

Author Details
The HearingLikeMe editorial team includes Jill Blocker von Bueren and Lisa Goldstein.