Cochlear implants, do they help?

While I can still hear sound, my understanding of speech seems to be totally gone. My Audiologist gave me the loudest hearing Aid possible, and it doesn't help. I can still hear the sound and turn up the instrument till they are loud, but can't make out what anyone is saying to me? So she has referred me to the Cochlear Clinic, appt is at the end of Nov . If not understanding speech, yet hearing sound, how will cochlear implants even help me, can someone advise if it will help a young senior? I got an information sheet in the mail, and it's a lot of appts that are a distance away, of what testing I need before I get the news if I am even a candidate? I am a little worried, hope there isn't more going on, as to why I have this problem and can't hear anymore?
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
I had progressive hearing loss for about 20 years. When it reached the point that a hearing aid was no longer useful in my worse ear, I got a CI in that ear and went from about 4% speech discrimination to 80+% speech discrimination. About a year later my other ear progressed to where it also needed a CI and that ear had the same great results. I believe my success was based on two things - late deafened and had worn hearing aids up to the time I got the CI, therefore continued stimulation of the hearing nerve even if the hearing wasn't that great.

CIs "replace" the hair cells, which are what alllow us to understand speech. If your hearing nerves are still healthy, which they probably are, then a CI will allow you to understand speech again, though it will sound funny at first because the sound is electronically generated.

Our brains are amazing things and will adjust to make things sound "normal" again. When I got my first one, the water running out of the faucet sounded like buzzing. I told my brain that it was water running and instantly that's what I heard.

It will take a lot of aural rehab to "relearn" to understand words, but it's well worth it. I started off, in addition to specific aural rehab apps/websites, with reading a book while listening to it via a audiobook.

BTW, I'm a young senior. I was 61 when I got my first one.
 
Thank you, counting down the days till the 26th when I have my first appointment. I realise that I will have to get some testing prior to see if I am even a candidate? I have been wearing hearing Aids for a few years now, one ear is totally gone it seems,, and the other is poor as well,but I can hear some sound out of the one , but I cannot understand when someone is talking to me. Update: The Audiologist has recently adjusted my hearing aids, and I can pick up sound a little better in the one ear, and there is the odd person I can actually make out some words, not all,, but a few? Funny how my hearing loss progresses, when I go into these spells of losing hearing, it's not overnight, but it seems over a few short months, it gets worse and worse and I realise hey, I can't hear this or that anymore? I use to have trouble with female voices, Thought they were all mumbling, but I could hear male base voices, but now it's the male voices as well, and fast speech, most people talk too fast. . I don't know if this is a fact or if I perceive them as talking too fast, possibly because I miss the conversation?
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
You will be tested with words and sentences. Do NOT guess at either. If you don't understand any word(s), let the audiologist know, don't guess. It's easy for us to try to guess at words when doing the sentence test since we have some context if we heard some of the words. What I do is say "The quick brown something something fence" rather than "The quick brown ?fox? ran under the fence"

I've read where others have had balance tests done. I did not have that.

If you pass (meaning you failed to understand) the tests then you'll get instructions either before seeing the surgeon or after seeing him/her. Usually they want to do a CT Scan. Some may want an MRI.
 

Limited02

Member
IIRC, I went from 32% speech recognition with HA's to 97% speech recognition a cochlear and HA. Similar to you, just getting a louder HA didn't help because I could still "hear" I just couldn't "understand." Now, I not only can understand far more clearly, but I also hear many sounds I've never heard before.
 
Tomorrow is the big day and I'm so nervous. Say a little prayer. So far, I've been reading some info they sent me. I did find out that the implants are more successful when a person can still hear a little on their own, so it is recommended that a person not wait until they are totally deaf. The last ENT I seen a year ago, told me not to come back until I couldn't hear anything anymore with my HA's. She was wrong!
Without Hearing Aids I am deaf, I cannot even hear the sound of my own voice when speaking. While I do pick up the odd words here and there, with HA's., I'm at the point that most of it is non understandable sounds in R ear with my HA's but my left ear is almost totally shot and HA doesn't help it.. The waiting List here at present is 12 months after tests are done and approved to go ahead,, so where will I be in that time? Quite concerned about that? If I can get the one, it will be the most wonderful thing to hear more than I can hear now.
 
Thank you LoveBlue and Limited2. From my understanding I will be having a balance test later if I pass all the first tests with the Audiologist which are to be done with hearing Aids and without to see if I am even eligible for the implants..
I will try to be as exact as I can be when they ask me questions. I have a bad habit pretending I can hear, sometimes even answering a person with what I thought I heard, in hopes that my answer was right. This never works for long, because if they keep talking, I trip up right after.

Limited2, thank you for sharing, that is a large increase in speech recognition to 97% That is so hopeful.
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
Thank you LoveBlue and Limited2. From my understanding I will be having a balance test later if I pass all the first tests with the Audiologist which are to be done with hearing Aids and without to see if I am even eligible for the implants..
I will try to be as exact as I can be when they ask me questions. I have a bad habit pretending I can hear, sometimes even answering a person with what I thought I heard, in hopes that my answer was right. This never works for long, because if they keep talking, I trip up right after.

Limited2, thank you for sharing, that is a large increase in speech recognition to 97% That is so hopeful.
Bolded - we all do that. I still do that with my CIs sometimes, like in noisy places.

Good luck with your testing - hope you fail the hearing tests (which means you qualify) :)
 
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