Interview with Oaktree Product's Sassy B. Kemp
Topic: The Dog Days of Summer - Key Products Every Hearing Care Professional Should Know About
Sassy B. Kemp
ACE: This is Ace Smaka, AudiologyOnline's Carolyn Smaka's dog, and I've finally gotten the chance to sit down for a one-on-one interview with my old friend Sassy B. Kemp of Oaktree Products in St. Louis, Missouri! Sassy is here today to talk all about the upcoming dog days of summer and the products that Oaktree offers that can help get us through this hot season.
So Sas, we have heard quite a bit about these "dog days of summer" you are always barking about. Care to inform us as to what you mean?
SASSY: Well for all of our non-canine readers, the dog days of summer refer to the hottest and, therefore, the sweatiest days of summer.
ACE: I hear Oaktree Products has got a couple of favorite products that are just perfect for this time of year.
SASSY: There are an array of items that are just great. The first product that comes to mind is the Ear Band-It which is a must have for hitting the pool! It comes in all kinds of different sizes and colors;one of the favorites is hot pink!
Ear Band-Its are colorful, reversible neoprene headbands designed to keep water out of ears and/or to hold earplugs in while swimming.
ACE: Besides these Ear Band-its being a fashion statement, what exactly are they used for?
SASSY: The Ear Band-It is a very colorful, reversible neoprene headband designed to keep water out of the ears and/or to hold earplugs in while swimming. This is one of the reasons these are so popular during the summer months! They are also great for keeping water out of the ears when bathing so they can be used year round.
ACE: So, these Ear Band-Its not only look cool but keep irritable water out of the ears, right?
SASSY: That's right! Which reminds me of another important product, Mack's Dry-N-Clear® ear drops.
ACE: Ear drops? What are they used for?
Mack's Dry-N-Clear® ear drops are used after swimming to dry out excess water from the ear canal.
SASSY: Mack's Dry-N-Clear® ear drops are used after swimming to dry out excess water from the ear canal. This can help prevent Swimmer's ear. The other neat thing about this product is that the drops are formulated with a unique agent that moisturizes the ear canal.
ACE: Sassy, I know that sweat and hearing aids do not get along and it certainly has been a sweaty summer so far in lots of parts of the country. What products does Oaktree have to help with sweat?
SASSY: The first thing that comes to mind is Ear Gear. They're cool sleeves that fit over hearing aids. Even the name is cool.
Ear Gear has a cordless version to serve as a hearing aid moisture guard (pictured), and a corded version that serves as a moisture guard and retainer system.
ACE: I thought that Ear Gear was a retainer system for youngsters who have a tendency to lose their hearing instruments?
SASSY: Here's the deal: Ear Gear is a colorful spandex boot that fits over a wide range of BTE hearing instruments including those that interface with FM boots as well as cochlear implant BTE processors and the BAHA. The spandex boot serves as barrier to moisture and also protects BTE's from dirt and dust.
ACE: How does the Ear Gear serve as a retainer system?
SASSY: Ear Gear is available in either cordless or corded versions. The cordless version is just the spandex boot and primarily serves as a moisture guard. In contrast, the corded Ear Gear contains a polyester-rubber blend cord with a steel clip. In this capacity, the corded version not only serves as a moisture guard (i.e. spandex boot), but also as a retainer system since the steel clip may fastens to clothing.
ACE: In other words, you can look cool while at the same time protect expensive hearing aids from getting lost?
SASSY: Correct! It comes in handy for little ones who take their hearing aids out of their ears and misplace them all the time. With the corded version of Ear Gear, you just slip the hearing aids into the spandex boot and then clip the Ear Gear to his shirt. No more lost or misplaced hearing aids!
ACE: Ear Gear is basically for BTE-type instruments. What options are available to protect custom devices from excessive moisture?
SASSY: Great question. This time of year, custom hearing instruments also take a beating in terms of exposure to all that excessive moisture. The Dry & Store Global II unit works for both custom and BTE instruments to remove excess moisture.
ACE: I've heard of the Dry & Store Global but not the Dry & Store Global II. Tell me more.
Dry & Store Global II electronic hearing aid drier
SASSY: The Dry & Store Global II is a redesigned version of the Dry & Store Global;it is an electronic hearing aid drier that actively removes moisture from any type of hearing aid, whether customer or BTE. You just place the hearing instrument in the unit, close the lid, and turn it on.
ACE: What happens when you turn it on?
SASSY: When the Dry & Store Global II is first turned on, a quiet fan continually circulates warm, dry air around the hearing instrument for an eight hour operating cycle, causing moisture to retreat from the hearing instrument to the circulating air;a powerful Dry-Brik II desiccant pulls the ambient moisture from the circulating air.
ACE: How is this new redesigned version different than the original Dry & Store Global?
SASSY: Like the original Dry & Store Global, this redesigned version incorporates a highly-effectively germicidal cycle that is a shorter but more reliable 90-second session rather than the original three minutes. The other great thing about this redesigned version is it is equipped with a universal switching power supply that accommodates electrical service around the world so no voltage converter necessary!
ACE: That is so smart!
SASSY: The Dry & Store Global II is also really light and portable, so it's perfect for traveling.
ACE: Sounds great. Any other key summer products we should let folks know about?
SASSY: As far as important products for summer, we definitely have to mention Audiologist's Choice Anti-Itch cream. It's made for itchy ears. The active ingredient in this wonderful product is hydrocortisone so not only will Audiologist's Choice Anti-Itch cream reduce or eliminate itching associated with minor skin irritations, it won't dry ears out like other anti-itch products that are alcohol based.
Audiologist's Choice Anti-Itch cream
ACE: Sassy, this conversation has been really informative. Where can we direct people to go for more information and updates?
SASSY: Oaktree Products has a microsite located on the AudiologyOnline website that can easily be accessed via www.audiologyonline.com/channels/oaktree.asp. Every month, we update the Resources section to provide PDF documents on a variety of products that can be easily downloaded and used for reference. Be sure to check it out!
ACE: Thanks Sassy, and please thank our friends at Oaktree for all their time and expertise in providing us with this great info today! Also, please bark hello to Oaktree's favorite pooches - Soxx, Buddy, Edy, Ricky and Chico - for me!
SASSY: Will do! Thanks Ace!
For more information about Oaktree Products, please visit www.oaktreeproducts.com or the Oaktree Web Channel on AudiologyOnline.
Pictured left to right, Soxx, Buddy, and Edy, Ricki & Chico