HA vs CI"s

set2

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HOH -ME,

I am bilateral but it was done in two surgeries. I felt the HA helped my brain adjust to the first CI and the CI/HA combo worked well for awhile. When I received the second CI things did not sound as strange at the start as with the first. My brain seemed to adjust quicker with the second one.
 
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HOH -ME,

I am bilateral but it was done in two surgeries. I felt the HA helped my brain adjust to the first CI and the CI/HA combo worked well for awhile. When I received the second CI things did not sound as strange at the start as with the first. My brain seemed to adjust quicker with the second one.

Was the first one your "bad" ear? Not just the first one to go. How long were you without sound in the first ear?

My "good" ear was implanted and took off running at activation.
 
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My SRS has gone down quite a bit in the past 2 years. They pulled up my audiogram from 2 years ago and I was at about 48%. I've noticed a lot of change in the past year. I got my current hearing aids 2 years ago (little over that now) and at first they were helping but after using my old hearing aids for the past couple weeks, those were SO bad that it probably just seemed like they were helping. I can "hear" a lot, I just can't understand what people are saying. I could "hear" every word they said in the test, just couldn't understand them. My favorite was somehow I got "pocket" out of "hush" :D. I have a copy of my results. It's pretty interesting and I want to show my family just how bad this is for me.

I heard exactly like you are hearing prior to my implant.

You will be amazed at what an implant is capable of! You are likely to have great results!
 

set2

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BleedingPurist,

Yes, the first ear I had implanted was my "bad" ear. It had about 18% Speech discrimination with a hearing aid compared to 35% in the other. I was never totally without sound but the poor speech discrimination was a problem for maybe 18 months before I decided to do something about it. I am glad I kept wearing the hearing aids even though they were really frustrating me.
 
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I don't want to sound stupid, but I am REALLY not up on most of what this is talking about :D. I am VERY open to suggestions and listening to why you like one over the other since I am seriously in the dark about most of this because I just haven't had the time to look into all of it and learn what all the numbers mean for the various settings,etc. I haven't picked one yet. I liked the sturdier feel of the Cochlear and that the magnet was removable. The clinic doesn't have any current patients with the Med El. Those are my "reasons" for liking it more so, PLEASE let me know what you think.

I looked at the comparison chart and most of it doesn't mean much to me so I don't know what is better than the other. I did like the longer battery life on the Med El. I looked at the Rondo--THAT might be enough to sell me on the Med-El.

I also like the looks of the remote on the Cochlear--little more Star Trekish :D.

One thing about the Med-el the dr did say was because the electrodes were smaller, the chance of retaining my residual hearing was slightly better--so I did like that.

You don't sound stupid. We all start out the same way when we start this process. Some just dive in and don't ask questions, others make sure they know what they are getting, the latter being my motto. Even if a physician may prefer one brand, you want to be sure you understand why.

You don't want to focus on the external processor so much. Those will come and go. The actual implant, which you won't touch, is the most important part as it will stay the same while doing the heavy work.

Remote controls are available for all three of the major brands... you have to ask yourself just how much you will be reliant on that remote control. What if you realize you just want to put on your processor and go without making sure you carry the remote in your pocket everywhere you go as well?

Rondo is sure to turn some heads! I like the idea myself, but I do wonder if it will be light enough to not require a stronger magnet. Too strong of a magnet can be irritating or even painful.

Rondo or not, the internal specs for Med El are more advanced than Cochlear's with greater speeds, more than one current source, a wider input dynamic ratio, and deeper insertion into the cochlea.

Read through the website... it's a wealth of information to cover any of your questions. You may want to read about all three of the major brands so you know what's out there. You'll want to be sure in your choice when it's time for surgery so you'll go into it with peace of mind. I'm here as well if you need anything.
 

HOH-ME

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HOH -ME,

I am bilateral but it was done in two surgeries. I felt the HA helped my brain adjust to the first CI and the CI/HA combo worked well for awhile. When I received the second CI things did not sound as strange at the start as with the first. My brain seemed to adjust quicker with the second one.

That is good to know!!

Was the first one your "bad" ear? Not just the first one to go. How long were you without sound in the first ear?

My "good" ear was implanted and took off running at activation.

I'm hoping for similar results :D.

I heard exactly like you are hearing prior to my implant.

You will be amazed at what an implant is capable of! You are likely to have great results!

You are the first person that has said this and it's one concern I have--but, most people that have written about their experience never really had "normal" hearing so it's hard to tell.

You don't sound stupid. We all start out the same way when we start this process. Some just dive in and don't ask questions, others make sure they know what they are getting, the latter being my motto. Even if a physician may prefer one brand, you want to be sure you understand why.

You don't want to focus on the external processor so much. Those will come and go. The actual implant, which you won't touch, is the most important part as it will stay the same while doing the heavy work.

Remote controls are available for all three of the major brands... you have to ask yourself just how much you will be reliant on that remote control. What if you realize you just want to put on your processor and go without making sure you carry the remote in your pocket everywhere you go as well?

Rondo is sure to turn some heads! I like the idea myself, but I do wonder if it will be light enough to not require a stronger magnet. Too strong of a magnet can be irritating or even painful.

Rondo or not, the internal specs for Med El are more advanced than Cochlear's with greater speeds, more than one current source, a wider input dynamic ratio, and deeper insertion into the cochlea.

Read through the website... it's a wealth of information to cover any of your questions. You may want to read about all three of the major brands so you know what's out there. You'll want to be sure in your choice when it's time for surgery so you'll go into it with peace of mind. I'm here as well if you need anything.

I read through the site--maybe you can answer questions I have??

1. Channels---Cochlear has 22, Med-el has 12--what difference would having more or less channels make?

2. Electrode drivers--what are these and same question above--what difference would having more or less make?

3. Max Stimulation rate--assuming faster is better but better how?? Hearing things in real time vs that brain lag with hearing aid where you sometimes don't hear something until after it's been said (if that makes sense).

4. Electrode Array and length--what are these different ones and what difference do they make?

5. IDR---is this basically the opposite of recruitment--meaning I can listen to louder sounds more comfortably

6. Rehab--is there any difference between the various programs that Cochlear or Med-el use

7. If the clinic has no one else using Med-el, would you pick that brand? They audi's have been trained on them, but haven't used them. I'm assuming insertion is the same no matter which brand and the skill of the Dr is what is paramount.
 
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You are the first person that has said this and it's one concern I have--but, most people that have written about their experience never really had "normal" hearing so it's hard to tell.

What is your concern?

I read through the site--maybe you can answer questions I have??

1. Channels---Cochlear has 22, Med-el has 12--what difference would having more or less channels make?

2. Electrode drivers--what are these and same question above--what difference would having more or less make?

3. Max Stimulation rate--assuming faster is better but better how?? Hearing things in real time vs that brain lag with hearing aid where you sometimes don't hear something until after it's been said (if that makes sense).

4. Electrode Array and length--what are these different ones and what difference do they make?

5. IDR---is this basically the opposite of recruitment--meaning I can listen to louder sounds more comfortably

6. Rehab--is there any difference between the various programs that Cochlear or Med-el use

7. If the clinic has no one else using Med-el, would you pick that brand? They audi's have been trained on them, but haven't used them. I'm assuming insertion is the same no matter which brand and the skill of the Dr is what is paramount.


1. The more channels, the more sound resolution/detail or greater possibility for natural quality. However, you have to understand that Cochlear uses 8 channels, one at a time in roving manner, not the entire array. Med El uses 12 and has the technical ability to exceed that. Cochlear does not. Also, the difference in the number of electrodes between the two has to do with controlling channel interaction.

2. Electrode drivers have to do with current sources. Cochlear has one. This means each electrode turns off and on and directs a channel to the same spot in the cochlea. Med El has 12. This means it can turn on all electrodes at once if desired and it has the ability to control the current and exceed the number of channels beyond the number of electrodes. Cochlear will never have more than the 22 fixed channels, Med El can exceed that into the hundreds. Advanced Bionics is the only manufacturer that currently has a strategy that uses this though, resulting in 120 channels. The more channels, the better and more natural the sound quality.

3. Faster is better in the sense of lending the required control for more advanced programming strategies. Cochlear is limited. They market how they did in-house trials of a program that users report hearing up to 161 pitches by firing the electrodes at a rate to result in stimulation between the existing channels, but many miss the fact that it was done on hardware during in-house trials that isn't available commercially using software that isn't available and that the existing electrode does not have the capability or speed to do this.

4. The longer and thinner the electrode array, the better the chance for deeper insertion for lower frequency response. You can only insert an electrode so far due to the size of the cochlea as you go deeper, which is where the low frequencies are. So in general.. Cochlear Implants have a pure tone low frequency limitation that ends at around the equivalent of middle C on a piano. Harmonics can lend the information to the brain to translate what you hear as bass, but it's definitely not the rich, full bass you once knew. It's also worth mentioning that the above mentioned channel steering capabilities can also steer current deeper into the electrode for lower frequencies. Cochlear cannot do this.

5. IDR is the input dynamic ratio. The range of sound you can hear from loud to quiet at once. The best use of this is when listening to music with all of it's complexities and dynamics. Cochlear is limited to 45 db at once. Meaning it will hear a 45 decibel range based on the loudest sound. Med El has a range of 75. You can guess which one is going to sound more natural. Normal hearing is around a 100 db range.

6. Rehab... I think you mean programming strategies. Rehab is what you do after activation, which basically means listening to anything and everything. One of the best forms of rehab for an adult is to listen to audio books. I'd go to work and plug in to my portable CD player (at the time) and listen to audio books and music. It was great for developing passive listening since I'd be focused on another task. Prior to my implant it took too much active concentration to be able to do that without my work suffering.

7. I'd research into all of the major implant manufacturers as well as get a good understanding of my clinic/audie. Are you limited to just that clinic in your area? What type of incision do they use? Are they going to slice open half of your scalp or create a small incision behind the ear that will disappear? Why do they only do Cochlear with no Med El implants? Is it for their convenience? Cochlear has the largest market share due to being around the longest as well as having a slick marketing campaign, but that's a lot like saying Ford is the best way to go because it was first. It may be what you want in the end, but you should be sure of what you are getting.

Would I choose Med El? No. I chose Advanced Bionics. They have the more advanced internal implant with what will be the most advanced external processor coming out this year. Would I choose Med El over Cochlear? Absolutely. It's my hearing. I would want the best possible chance for great sound quality. The doctor is just going to put in your implant. The audiologist is just going to test your speech scores. They aren't concerned with your sound quality. The less they have to do, the better for them.

My original audiologist, who I "fired" after orientation, told me that I would not have music with my implant while passively trying to steer me towards Cochlear. At the time, the programming strategy "Fidelity 120" (which delivers 120 channels of sound for Advanced Bionics users) was due to be released in a couple of months pending FDA approval. She had zero knowledge of it and behaved as if it was just a rumor, meanwhile it was known fact to those who were researching and there was already a program in place to reserve the new BTE required to run the program. This particular audiologist did not last long at my center, thankfully.
 

HOH-ME

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My concern with how things sound after the implant is that is a flute going to sound like a tuba all of the sudden. I was happy to hear that you didn't have that issue so its possible everything will sound the same or close to the same.

Rehab--I was looking at the comparison chart and it was a category there and they list a few programs or whatever you want to call them--The Listening Room is one for AB.

I was not shown anything from Advanced Bionics. I'm not limited to the one clinic. I am waiting to hear back if I can get approved at the Mayo clinic (insurance issues at that clinic). I think there are 10 CI clinics within an hour or so of us. The clinic I went to yesterday does not use AB. Sounds like I would probably like the outcome with that one better because hearing music well is something that is important to me.
 

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even if you go with Cochlear or MedEl, you can still use the Listening Room at AB's site, it's free for any CI user. Cochlear and Med-El each also have their own auditory rehab sites as well. Also check into Angel Sound Training, it's a free auditory rehab software you can download to your computer. It's a great program! Download AngelSound It covers voices/speech, music sounds (instruments, simple melodies), environmental and animal sounds, etc. It's packed full, which is awesome. There are also a few rehab apps for the iphone/ipad too. There are plenty of opportunities to do auditory rehab. Even just watching TV/movies, getting out and interacting, or just going out to listen, as long as you're putting your CI to work, it's rehab. :)
 

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I'm interested in other points of view on brands too--kept civil obviously :D. BleedingPurist posts have been very helpful for me and I really do want to hear other points of view.
 

HOH-ME

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even if you go with Cochlear or MedEl, you can still use the Listening Room at AB's site, it's free for any CI user. Cochlear and Med-El each also have their own auditory rehab sites as well. Also check into Angel Sound Training, it's a free auditory rehab software you can download to your computer. It's a great program! Download AngelSound It covers voices/speech, music sounds (instruments, simple melodies), environmental and animal sounds, etc. It's packed full, which is awesome. There are also a few rehab apps for the iphone/ipad too. There are plenty of opportunities to do auditory rehab. Even just watching TV/movies, getting out and interacting, or just going out to listen, as long as you're putting your CI to work, it's rehab. :)

That is good to know, thanks! We have all the Harry Potter books on CD and I have a Nook and DH has a Kindle so I can listen to audiobooks on those if that is a good idea. I usually work out watching a movie on my Nook through Netflix and use the closed captioning on that--LOVE that!!! I have Pandora Radio on my computer that I listen to and they have lyrics with a lot of the songs.
 

cdmeggers

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Any way to get sound to the CI, it's auditory rehab! Even audiobooks will work. :)


I have AB for myself, as I felt they were more advanced over the other 2 (better technology, always making progress on sound processing strategies and improving on them, etc.). I've been researching the implants and wanting one for about 10 years before I was finally able to get one. During my research phase, I immediately eliminated MedEl from the list as I wasn't impressed with their processor styles/design back then, so I just focused on Cochlear and AB. I kept getting drawn back to AB after all these years of researching. For a short while I considered Cochlear, but then I went back to AB.

I'm extremely happy with my CI so far, and it hasn't been a full year yet. I'm just happy to have sound in the left ear after 25 years of complete deafness in that ear. I love that AB and Phonak are both under the same roof (owned by Sonova) and they're working together on the new technology for CIs and hearing aids. That was another plus in my book, since I've only worn Phonaks. Also being able to get the waterproof Neptune is great too, as I have nephews who like to go crazy with water during the summer.... better to have a waterproof processor that can handle their craziness if they should try to soak me for whatever reasons!

Keep researching, comparing, asking questions online and getting feedback about the CIs, all that fun stuff. And I'm sure you'll have an opportunity to play with the demos at a clinic and get an actual feel for them as well. All 3 manufacturers will give you access to sound; so take into consideration which features you really want to take advantage of. Are there any specific features you really want with a CI?
 

HOH-ME

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Any way to get sound to the CI, it's auditory rehab! Even audiobooks will work. :)


I have AB for myself, as I felt they were more advanced over the other 2 (better technology, always making progress on sound processing strategies and improving on them, etc.). I've been researching the implants and wanting one for about 10 years before I was finally able to get one. During my research phase, I immediately eliminated MedEl from the list as I wasn't impressed with their processor styles/design back then, so I just focused on Cochlear and AB. I kept getting drawn back to AB after all these years of researching. For a short while I considered Cochlear, but then I went back to AB.

I'm extremely happy with my CI so far, and it hasn't been a full year yet. I'm just happy to have sound in the left ear after 25 years of complete deafness in that ear. I love that AB and Phonak are both under the same roof (owned by Sonova) and they're working together on the new technology for CIs and hearing aids. That was another plus in my book, since I've only worn Phonaks. Also being able to get the waterproof Neptune is great too, as I have nephews who like to go crazy with water during the summer.... better to have a waterproof processor that can handle their craziness if they should try to soak me for whatever reasons!

Keep researching, comparing, asking questions online and getting feedback about the CIs, all that fun stuff. And I'm sure you'll have an opportunity to play with the demos at a clinic and get an actual feel for them as well. All 3 manufacturers will give you access to sound; so take into consideration which features you really want to take advantage of. Are there any specific features you really want with a CI?

Well, give me back perfect hearing would be ideal--not realistic but would be great :D. The clinic I went to yesterday had Cochlear and Med-el. I liked the feel of Cochlear better-felt more sturdy and had more "accessories" but those probably aren't a good reason to pick one. I want the one that is going to give me the best speech recognition, allow me to eat out at a restaurant and participate in a conversation and being able to enjoy music would be an HUGE bonus. I want to be able to understand my future grandchildren-which are probably 5 or 6 years off or so. I can't understand little kids much at all now. I want to be able to go to church and hear our priest and not the guy coughing 3 pews away. That kind of stuff. I guess I want the "best"--the best technology, the best possible sound, the best potential for music appreciation. How do you define "best" though?

The AB sounds nice but having a AAA battery hanging on your ear sounds uncomfortable. It's a significant weight difference. Was that an issue for you? The higher stimulation rate is attractive now that I know what that is. AB has fewer electrodes-does that matter?? I would hate to not have my low frequency hearing-which I do have now--almost normal. The chance of retaining my residual hearing is very appealing. I'm pretty convinced I don't want Cochlear at all now. Med-el and AB seem to be pretty similar.

Which AB is the newest?
 

cdmeggers

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The Neptune from AB, which uses the AAA battery, is not worn on the ear. The Neptune is the off-the-ear processor, like an extremely small body worn processor. It can be clipped to hair, shirt collar, pocket, tie, whatever. That's the nice thing about the Neptune. The Neptune came out last year, and there is a new slimmer BTE processor coming out sometime this coming summer (but those who decide to get AB before the summer are given a voucher for the new BTE so as soon as it's available they will get it). Cochlear has a new BTE in the works, and Med-El's Rondo is out next month.

AB may have fewer electrodes on the array than Cochlear, but they make up for it with the 120 channel set-up, and there are different ways the electrode array works. Paired electrode simulation, or sequential simulation, it depends on which processing strategy is programmed onto the processor.
 

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I'm not sure a clip-on would work well for me--don't really know, haven't tried one, but I'm thinking about the wires getting tangled while swinging a golf club--that kind of stuff. The Rondo is a very attractive option to me right now!
 
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I'm not sure a clip-on would work well for me--don't really know, haven't tried one, but I'm thinking about the wires getting tangled while swinging a golf club--that kind of stuff. The Rondo is a very attractive option to me right now!

There is only one wire with a choice of lengths. I wear it under my shirt. So it doesn't get caught on anything.

You would want to look at the new BTE. The Neptune is for rugged wear and is waterproof. There are no specs released yet for the new BTE, but will likely be highly water resistant if not water proof.

I'll be keeping an eye on Rondo. Do you know how it will connect to other devices like a music player? How will you use the telephone?
 

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There is only one wire with a choice of lengths. I wear it under my shirt. So it doesn't get caught on anything.

You would want to look at the new BTE. The Neptune is for rugged wear and is waterproof. There are no specs released yet for the new BTE, but will likely be highly water resistant if not water proof.

I'll be keeping an eye on Rondo. Do you know how it will connect to other devices like a music player? How will you use the telephone?

I don't know any of that yet, just saw the press release that it was coming.
 
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I don't know any of that yet, just saw the press release that it was coming.

Those are answers that you will want to have. It seems that those are the questions Med El users are concerned about. You do not want to be restricted to T Coil loops. Those are inhibited by lower and thinner sound quality.

The weight is an issue as well. There should be more info at this point given it has FDA approval. You will want these answers before committing to it. It seems it will be best as an additional processor for occasional or limited time use rather than a full time processor.

Headpieces do fall off. You can't have the magnet so strong that it is secured tightly. Just enough to stay on and be comfortable. Keeping the processor secured as well as connectivity is the main reason for the Neptune's form factor.
 

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This choice would be a lot easier if there was a way to simulate how they would work. That is one advantage hearing aids have, you can take them for a test drive.

How does the AB work on the phone if you have it clipped to your shirt?
 
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This choice would be a lot easier if there was a way to simulate how they would work. That is one advantage hearing aids have, you can take them for a test drive.

How does the AB work on the phone if you have it clipped to your shirt?

There are two AB processors. The Neptune, which you are thinking of has a direct connect input (same type as found on music players and smartphones for plugging headphones in) the processor (not the headpiece. ) It also has a T Comm accessory with a T Mic and Telecoil. The T Mic, which is exclusive to AB, is a microphone placed at the ear canal. This is for natural sound collection using the outer ear as well as normal telephone or headphone use.

The new BTE has a new, thinner, and smaller T mic. It also has wireless audio connectivity and bluetooth. So users have a range of options.
 
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