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Christine925

New Member
Hello and thank you for reading this. I started losing my hearing about 15 years ago. I now have only about 30% hearing left in my right ear and no hearing in my left. I do, of course, wear an aid in my right ear. I am now 71 and I cry pretty much daily about all that I am missing but I know things could be worse and that I am fortunate in so many other ways. I suppose the only positive is that this happened in my latter years. My audiologist mentioned the implant in my left ear and I may do this. I am scared on many levels. I suppose that is typical being older. Again, thank you for reading this.
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
:wave:

I began to lose my hearing in my mid 30's. I wore hearing aids starting in my early 40's. By my early 60's my left side was down to 4% comprehension with a hearing aid (and 0% w/o). My right ear was around 50%. I got a CI in my left ear and my comprehension went dramaticlly up (I think around 60% in the beginning). I'm in the 80-90% range now (and probably would be better if I put more effort into rehab :o ).
My right ear continued to decline and 18 months later I got a CI in that ear (comprehesion was in the 20% range).

Go for a CI evaluation and do NOT guess at what you hear. This is one test you want to fail. :)
The CI audiologist should give you information on the 3 brands AND s/he should NOT try to "sell" you on a specific brand. That is unethical on thier part.

Do your research. Once you choose a brand you're unlikely to be able to switch.

Contact each brand and ask to have a representative visit you (in person or virtually) and also ask for a list of mentors (people who use their brand). The representative will naturally try to get you to pick their brand. The mentors will tell you what it's like to use their brand as in are they happy with it or not.

Look for online communities for each brand - forums and Facebook - where you can talk to people who use each brand.

I chose Advanced Bionics because I was happy with the Phonak hearing aids I had and had several of their accessories which also work with AB's processors. Phonak & AB use the same technology (they're owned by the same company). I also chose AB because I found a great community online, both forum and FB group. It was hard to find communities for the other two brands.
I am not trying to sell you an AB, just letting you know why I chose them.

If you can talk to mentors for each brand, ask them how hard or easy it is to work with the company (customer service). AB has great customer service, though some people are not happy right now because of slow response time. That's due to the pandemic and due to them recently coming out with a new processor and many, many people are trying to upgrade and there's a backlog (again, partly due to the pandemic) getting the new processors out to everyone.

I hope you do proceed with getting evaluated.
 

Christine925

New Member
Dear LoveBlue, thank you so much for the concise information as, prior to reading your words, I knew zero about CI's. I woke up to reading this and it has given me hope. I will research the rehab, also, and what that entails. For example, what happens in rehab and progression. My aid is a Phonak and prior to this, I used Costco aids. Again, thank you so very much. It is very much appreciated. Enjoy a wonderful day.
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
Dear LoveBlue, thank you so much for the concise information as, prior to reading your words, I knew zero about CI's. I woke up to reading this and it has given me hope. I will research the rehab, also, and what that entails. For example, what happens in rehab and progression. My aid is a Phonak and prior to this, I used Costco aids. Again, thank you so very much. It is very much appreciated. Enjoy a wonderful day.
I believe the Costco aids were also made my Phonak. ;)

Rehab is basically listening to things, especially "words", to train your brain what the electronic signals are sending to it. You would start of listening while reading what you're listening to. I was able to understand speech from the get-go - though it sounded like Darth Vadar with my first ear and someone on helium with my second ear, in the beginning. I started rehab by listening to an audio book while reading the same book. There are lots of apps available too. Hopefully the CI clinic you go to will also have a rehab specialist to work with you. Either your audiologist or your rehab person should give you a list websites and other sources for rehab.

Remember, we hear with our ears, but we understand what we hear with our brains. Our brains are amazing. During the first week after getting my first implant I had the kitchen faucet running. I was only wearing the implant (a good way to rehab) and I heard buzzing/static. I told my brain that it was water running and instantly I heard water running..

Here is a helpful website to help you understand CIs. https://cochlearimplanthelp.com/journey/needing-a-cochlear-implant/
 

Christine925

New Member
I believe the Costco aids were also made my Phonak. ;)

Rehab is basically listening to things, especially "words", to train your brain what the electronic signals are sending to it. You would start of listening while reading what you're listening to. I was able to understand speech from the get-go - though it sounded like Darth Vadar with my first ear and someone on helium with my second ear, in the beginning. I started rehab by listening to an audio book while reading the same book. There are lots of apps available too. Hopefully the CI clinic you go to will also have a rehab specialist to work with you. Either your audiologist or your rehab person should give you a list websites and other sources for rehab.

Remember, we hear with our ears, but we understand what we hear with our brains. Our brains are amazing. During the first week after getting my first implant I had the kitchen faucet running. I was only wearing the implant (a good way to rehab) and I heard buzzing/static. I told my brain that it was water running and instantly I heard water running..

Here is a helpful website to help you understand CIs. https://cochlearimplanthelp.com/journey/needing-a-cochlear-implant/
Wow, thank you so much. That is very interesting about the faucet and running water. May I ask, since you have had yours for a while I am assuming your process time of what you are hearing is instantaneous, as you were able to understand speech from the get-go? It must be amazing to be at the point of where you now are. Again, thank you. And I did not know Costco aids were made by Phonak. I've had two previous pairs and I was happy with them. And also, thank you for the link above.
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
Yes, I was able to understand speech from the get-go, but only about 60%. There are still some phonics that I struggle with (like TH). I really need to do my rehab on these. Some of them may be because I don't have the needed frequencies "mapped" "just right" for them.

"Mapping" is where the audiologist uses the brand's computer software to adjust the level of each frequency - based on you telling him/her how each sound (beeps) sound. There's a range of 10 (very very soft to way too loud). You don't need to concern yourself at this point about the mapping.

Having a CI is a continuous work in progress. In the beginning you will have many visits to the audiologist to tweak things and to try different programs, like "speech in noise" - just like you do with HAs. Even after years people are noticing improvements with their hearing.

I got my first one in early 2017 and my 2nd one in mid 2018.
 
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