HA vs CI"s

HOH-ME

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I've been searching all over the internet for blogs or whatever to find experiences with people who have residual hearing and use HA with mixed results and then have gone into CI's. I had sudden hearing loss in my late 20's, about 50% loss mid-to upper registers. That loss about 18 years later is now about 70%. My hearing aids help, to a point. As you know they amplify everything so having a conversation with anyone if there is any noise in the background is a challenge. TV, movies, etc. forget it--unless I have the sound turned up so dang high that everything distorts.

I avoid going to restaurants, etc. because it's pointless. I smile and nod a lot. Telephone, if I have my hearing aids in, the speaker phone on, the phone up to my ear I can understand about 50% of what is said.

My speech recognition is dropping--roughly 30-40% on the "baseball, ice cream, etc." tests.

So, what I want to know, how much better are CI's for someone like me. I would LOVE to be able to go out to dinner and actually be able to hold a conversation or go to a movie again and understand what they are saying and be able to tune out the background music. You know, every day stuff.

I understand I will probably lose my residual hearing but if the trade off is to have more "normal" hearing, that is fine. I just don't want to go through the process and say 'well, these aren't any better than my top of the line hearing aids".

Most of the info I find is about people that are completely deaf, which I am not. Has anyone had semi-functional hearing and gone into CI's and their only concern was why didn't I do this sooner?

Example--the timer on my stove is beeping, can't hear it, my dog is barking I can hear her. The TV is on in the next room (open to where my computer is), I can sort of sometime hear a noise from it but I certainly can't understand anything they are saying. If I am in that room I can hear the Charlie Brown type talk, can't understand what they are saying--at normal listening volumes that the rest of my family can hear fine.
 

zajko

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Well, hearing with CI is definitely better than hearing with HA. But don't expect that you will hear fine in noisy situations, understand everything in the cinema or TV etc.
As a late deafened person you have quite a big chance to get great results, better than you have now with HAs, but it will be never perfect, as it's still just a prosthesis.
 

Kaze105

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It will definitely depend on each person. My hearing started dropping in low teens and progressively got worse. I had to go through different hearing aid every other year or so since it wasnt strong enough or didnt allow me to hear. Finally got a CI in one hear in May 2012. I was able to hear (barely) through both ears before the CI without the HA. My hearing at low frequency was bad and much worse at higher frequencies for both ear.

At this point, I can say I can actually hear spoken words. I can hear vocal in songs and even in restaurants. It is definitely better than my Hearing aid, but it is not perfect.

Im still adjusting the CI to be perfect. With the right program settings, I can hear in very noisy situations, although it can be difficult at times. The negative at this point is that my hearing aid (on my other ear) can amplify the lower frequency sounds. My implant at the moment seems to be unable to, which makes music a little weird since I cant hear the bass completely. This is probably just a temporary thing as I plan to get this adjusted a bit and the rest should be better with time.

When I had 2 hearing aids, I can understand around 70% of what someone says in a quite environment, it is now around 90 and above. I used to be unable to hear my tv even with loud volume and now I actually think of trying to turn off captions and test it. I can also hear family on phone perfectly, while I still need work for any other people. For me, CI is much better than HA.
 

deafdyke

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Well, hearing with CI is definitely better than hearing with HA. But don't expect that you will hear fine in noisy situations, understand everything in the cinema or TV etc.
As a late deafened person you have quite a big chance to get great results, better than you have now with HAs, but it will be never perfect, as it's still just a prosthesis.

Well I think it's prolly dependant on what you got through hearing aids....it'll improve your speech perception if it was low with HAs, but the thing is people with CIs are pretty much overwhelminging functionally HOH. CIs don't remove the HOH issues that every HOH person deals with.
 

ambrosia

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Well I think it's prolly dependant on what you got through hearing aids....it'll improve your speech perception if it was low with HAs, but the thing is people with CIs are pretty much overwhelminging functionally HOH. CIs don't remove the HOH issues that every HOH person deals with.

I actually have already filled out the application to get evaluated for a CI, never sent it out though I don't have insurance and the VR is the one who had them send the application to me and then they turned around and were all...oh we can't cover that...

But anyway, going by just the questions they ask on it I'm fairly certain that they prepare you for realistic expectations. I don't think anyone is going to tell them it's a miracle and they're going to be just like a hearing person.

Personally if a CI even got my speech recognition to where it was with my aids when I only had severe loss I would say that is completely totally worth it and a vast improvement over what I can understand now.
 

Frisky Feline

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Well I think it's prolly dependant on what you got through hearing aids....it'll improve your speech perception if it was low with HAs, but the thing is people with CIs are pretty much overwhelminging functionally HOH. CIs don't remove the HOH issues that every HOH person deals with.

If I were you, that I would not say anything because I didn't have a CI.
 

green427

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But anyway, going by just the questions they ask on it I'm fairly certain that they prepare you for realistic expectations. I don't think anyone is going to tell them it's a miracle and they're going to be just like a hearing person.

Correct, except that some med professionals give you the impression that it will be a miracle. My surgeon said bluntly that the CI will give me more hearing, and better hearing, but it will never be as good as the real thing. He was right, but, the way he expressed it got my hopes up more than I should have.


Personally if a CI even got my speech recognition to where it was with my aids when I only had severe loss I would say that is completely totally worth it and a vast improvement over what I can understand now.

Well said. That is the #1 reason I got mine. Yes, it does make a big difference. For $80K each, it better damned well be an improvement over my HA's.
 

Lissa

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I was implanted 12 years ago and it wasnt a miracle. Took a LOT of hard work over the years and i didnt receive any help or anything through the CI team, i did it all by myself when i got into my mid to late teens. I cannot hold a xomplete conversation without lipreadin and to me that is fine. I am and will always be deaf. I prefer to use sign language when with deaf friends and if my family knew sign i would be signin with them too
 

HOH-ME

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I guess I don't consider myself "deaf", yet. I don't sign so I don't have that advantage. Yes, I can learn but no one I know signs so that won't really be helpful to me. I live in a hearing world and up until probably 3 years ago I functioned pretty well in the hearing world. I have since had to quit my job because I can't hear on the phones, I've stopped going out as much because it's just too much work and frankly boring if you can't participate in a conversation. When I got my current HA's 2 years ago I was able to hear sounds I hadn't heard in years, birds chirping, weird noises our fridge was making, etc. I spent a lot of time say "what is that noise". Now, I hear none of those again.

If CI's can give me back a life, that would be an improvement. I don't need perfect, I just want to be able to hear again, have a conversation where I am not saying "what", "huh", "can you say that again" ever other sentence.

At my last HA adjustment I kept asking for more volume for speech and she couldn't help me at all. She kept tellling me that these are "pretty loud" after telling me that these aids would carry me through many years because they were so adjustable. My hearing has just declined a lot I guess.

I'm also wondering if because I "know" what things are supposed to sound like, vs someone that has had little to know hearing most of their life, if that would be an advantage for CI's and the rehab process----or a major disadvantage because sounds are different???
 

zajko

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I'm pretty sure that having a hearing memory is quite a big advantage. At the beginning you will probably say "omg that sounds terrible", but your brain will get used to it.

Your hearing as you describe it seems that CI could give you significantly bigger benefit than HAs. So good luck with your evaluation and hope you will get CI soon :)
 

deafdyke

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I guess I don't consider myself "deaf", yet. I don't sign so I don't have that advantage. Yes, I can learn but no one I know signs so that won't really be helpful to me. I live in a hearing world and up until probably 3 years ago I functioned pretty well in the hearing world. I have since had to quit my job because I can't hear on the phones, I've stopped going out as much because it's just too much work and frankly boring if you can't participate in a conversation. When I got my current HA's 2 years ago I was able to hear sounds I hadn't heard in years, birds chirping, weird noises our fridge was making, etc. I spent a lot of time say "what is that noise". Now, I hear none of those again.

If CI's can give me back a life, that would be an improvement. I don't need perfect, I just want to be able to hear again, have a conversation where I am not saying "what", "huh", "can you say that again" ever other sentence.

At my last HA adjustment I kept asking for more volume for speech and she couldn't help me at all. She kept tellling me that these are "pretty loud" after telling me that these aids would carry me through many years because they were so adjustable. My hearing has just declined a lot I guess.

I'm also wondering if because I "know" what things are supposed to sound like, vs someone that has had little to know hearing most of their life, if that would be an advantage for CI's and the rehab process----or a major disadvantage because sounds are different???

Hmmm.....I do know that for adults the qualifications to get a CI are a bit looser. I am not an audi....but I wonder if you could go to a university affiliated audi and see if there might be anything they could do to tweak your hearing aids......or you could get evaluated for a CI. I do know sometimes that you can qualify based on speech perception.
 

deafdyke

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If I were you, that I would not say anything because I didn't have a CI.

OTOH, I was simply clarifying that people with CI ARE overwhelmingly functionally HOH. That's all. They can and do rock.....but I do get the vibe that some people may think that they overcome ALL the HOH issues...
 

green427

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I'm also wondering if because I "know" what things are supposed to sound like, vs someone that has had little to know hearing most of their life, if that would be an advantage for CI's and the rehab process----or a major disadvantage because sounds are different???

It takes a few months for your brain to build up new memory cells for sounds. Once you get over that learning curve, you will recognize sounds. What you hear with a CI will depend on your body's way of interacting with it.

The CI is most successful in people that have been hearing all their lives and in early-implantation. Not as successful in people that had limited hearing since birth.

Definitely does not work well in people that have been profoundly deaf all their lives.
 

deafdyke

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I do want to say that it MIGHT be the answer for her. Late deafened people tend to be the best CI users. I do think that when there's low speech perception with aids, that a CI should be investigated....but I do think that everyone needs to be aware that implantees tend to function as HOH....Meaning HOH people with implants deal with the same things that HOH people have throughout the ages. They still have issues in noise, and often have to speechread and use ALDs.......I would definitely investigate it.....there ARE some CI users who are "almost hearing"
 

HOH-ME

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Hmmm.....I do know that for adults the qualifications to get a CI are a bit looser. I am not an audi....but I wonder if you could go to a university affiliated audi and see if there might be anything they could do to tweak your hearing aids......or you could get evaluated for a CI. I do know sometimes that you can qualify based on speech perception.

I do see a university related audi/ENT for my normal hearing check-up's etc. The CI team is part of this same clinic. I have an appointment on March 6th for an evaluation. Just trying to get some personal experiences with the switch from HA's to CI's.
 

green427

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I do want to say that it MIGHT be the answer for her. Late deafened people tend to be the best CI users. I do think that when there's low speech perception with aids, that a CI should be investigated....but I do think that everyone needs to be aware that implantees tend to function as HOH....Meaning HOH people with implants deal with the same things that HOH people have throughout the ages. They still have issues in noise, and often have to speechread and use ALDs.......I would definitely investigate it.....there ARE some CI users who are "almost hearing"

Correct. Also, one thing I want to add is that those of us that have used HA's and got CI's will find that in order to hear what someone says (without lipreading), we have to stop what we are doing and focus on listening. Hearing people can hear multiple voices and listen to multiple conversations while doing physical things, but from what I've gathered, we cannot do that, can only listen to one person at a time. It still takes energy to process conversations. Lipreading and listening at the same time is much less tiring.
 

deafdyke

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Correct. Also, one thing I want to add is that those of us that have used HA's and got CI's will find that in order to hear what someone says (without lipreading), we have to stop what we are doing and focus on listening. Hearing people can hear multiple voices and listen to multiple conversations while doing physical things, but from what I've gathered, we cannot do that, can only listen to one person at a time. It still takes energy to process conversations. Lipreading and listening at the same time is much less tiring.

Thank you for backing me up green! I wasn't bashing them at all....
 

HOH-ME

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Someone said on another thread that I can't find now that you can try different brands of CI's at the audi's office to see which one you like. How exactly does that work before implant? Is it more of a touch and feel thing or do they have simulators or something to use?
 

NaidaUP

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Someone said on another thread that I can't find now that you can try different brands of CI's at the audi's office to see which one you like. How exactly does that work before implant? Is it more of a touch and feel thing or do they have simulators or something to use?

More you can touch them and work out which one sits on your ear better but you won't be able to hear from it.
 
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