Some Weird Cochlear questions?

I'm not sure whether I will end up with an implant or not, but I have some questions running through my head that I hope someone can answer? They say an implant lasts about 7 years, is that just a general amount of time, but can it last longer? Which brand is best? Then what happens after this, does one have to start at step 1 again, or is the road easier after having one, to get it replaced with another? Another question that I have, if they put in an implant in one ear, what happens to the other ear, especially if one still has a bit of hearing left in it and wears a Hearing Aid in it? Will the sound still be the same as before in that remaining ear or will both ears sound like chimpanzees in the beginning? What happens if the implant goes, and someone does not want another, do they have to have it surgically removed or can it remain in their head indefinitely? Lastly if it is ever removed, will there ever be sound left behind, if there was any left, before the implant was ever put in, or is that permanently gone?
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure whether I will end up with an implant or not, but I have some questions running through my head that I hope someone can answer? They say an implant lasts about 7 years, is that just a general amount of time, but can it last longer? Which brand is best? Then what happens after this, does one have to start at step 1 again, or is the road easier after having one, to get it replaced with another? Another question that I have, if they put in an implant in one ear, what happens to the other ear, especially if one still has a bit of hearing left in it and wears a Hearing Aid in it? Will the sound still be the same as before in that remaining ear or will both ears sound like chimpanzees in the beginning? What happens if the implant goes, and someone does not want another, do they have to have it surgically removed or can it remain in their head indefinitely? Lastly if it is ever removed, will there ever be sound left behind, if there was any left, before the implant was ever put in, or is that permanently gone?
The implants, at least mine, have a 10 year warranty. I know of people who have had their implants for 20 years. The "7 years" is referring to the processor (external part).

The implant does not affect the unimplanted ear. You'll hear just the same out of the good ear as you did before the implant surgery.

If you have to have an implant replaced, you might have a short time learning curve for the brain to adjust. I just had one of mine replaced due to non-safety failure and I was lucky and quickly got back to where I was in hearing before the failure. All brands have issues, but they are rare.

The newer implants try to keep your residual hearing (low frequencies). At least two of the brands have ways to use both the CI and the residual hearing in the implanted ear.
 
Thank you for answering some of my questions. Wow, that is good news to know that there is hope for it to last longer. It's also good to know that it doesn't affect the unimplanted ear. Not that I can hear anything out of mine, but the reason I say this, what if something else came on the horizon like some way for the regeneration of hair cells (cilia) That's not to say that cochlear implants aren't good,, so far, they sound very promising and hopeful and I hope to hear again. .Just knowing everything there is to know about these implants reassures me more. Oh, to have my hearing again would certainly be the best!
 
Okay, I just read some posts about cochlear implants using tons of batteries. The Hearing clinic did not get into this with me, other than to say you put it on a base every night like your phone, so does the charge only last a day, and do you have to keep buying batteries? How long is a battery life, and how long can a battery be recharged? How often do they need to be replaced and where do you buy them and are they expensive? Please advise as I was not fully informed about this? The one thing I was looking forward to, is spending a lot less on batteries, now I read this?
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
Okay, I just read some posts about cochlear implants using tons of batteries. The Hearing clinic did not get into this with me, other than to say you put it on a base every night like your phone, so does the charge only last a day, and do you have to keep buying batteries? How long is a battery life, and how long can a battery be recharged? How often do they need to be replaced and where do you buy them and are they expensive? Please advise as I was not fully informed about this? The one thing I was looking forward to, is spending a lot less on batteries, now I read this?
Those were probably old posts. My brand (Advanced Bionics) has rechargeable batteries. I charge mine overnight. Mine last me all day, but it can vary based on your "mapping", thickness of scalp, etc. AB has multiple size batteries that have different battery lives. They also have a battery case that can use CI specific batteries that are like HA batteries. This can come in handy if you have a power outage at home or might be somewhere where you can't recharge the other batteries. You get the rechargeables from the CI manufacturer. The disposables can be gotten at online stores. Insurance will usually pay for new rechargeable batteries each year, once you've met your deductible. I have bought some spares, but I think I've only replaced one of my batteries in the 4 years I've had my first CI. Again, it varies with each person.

I believe Cochlear now has rechargeable batteries, but you'd need to check with them to verify. Not sure about Model.

Advanced Bionics just came out with a new processor that sounds really good. I like my current one, but can't wait till I can upgrade (where my insurance will pay for the upgrade) in probably a year. Though the processors are always being upgraded, the thing you should consider when selecting a brand - and YOU should select the brand, not your surgeon or audiologist - is how well the internal will work and how much can be improved with each new processor using that internal. (having trouble on wording that)

Have you looked for community forums for each of the brands online (FB or otherwise)? That's the best place to get good info. The companies will naturally tell you theirs are the best.
 

x1heavy

Member
I usually defended the computer against power failures via a floor battery unit that is tied to it via USB so that when the storms come, kill the power to the home the machine has less than a hour of power. Makes for a orderly shutdown. I also have used to to protect other devices through a power strip onto it as well. (We had a generator as well but not part of this topic) power outages in tornado or ice season are frequent.

I found that rechargeable batteries with hearing aids or rather disposible cheap 20 dollar sound boosters sold at walmart to vary in reliability. Some lasted a year others lasted 3 years. However they were intended to be rather basic and disposed of when no longer working. Its only a temporary workaround in between hearing aids for me.

I recall going through a certain number of zinc air batterys size 13 for my hearing aids in trucking, it was 24/7 day and night always on and in winter would only last like 3 days before you put on new batteries. We kept them in a small heater area so that when it's -55 in places they will still be good. I believe I went through around 2 packs of 4 each week. That would be around 8.00 or so each pack, call it 100 dollars in batteries per month always keeping spares. I remember the old analog mercury batteries lasting 4 weeks per pair but today's computer hearing aids do not tolerate weak batteries below a certain voltage like the old pre computer hearing aids once did. (Analog) they don't make analog anymore in the USA.

I feel that hearing aids and cochlears can and will approach 20 years of use if taken care of. Mine lasted a average of 10 to 20 in trucking what with all the abuse and trauma in those days. Sometimes the lab was able to rebuild them once or twice in that lifetime of the hearing aids. technology is always getting evolving and improving so I would think that in the future the cochlear experience would be better. Possibly with new connections between the brain and ear system so you can hear better or maybe if we were daring, replace what Nature provided entirely. (Pipe dream...)

I realize my post is not fully cochlear related however technology continues to evolve and improve each human generation in my lifetime Ive seen hearing aids in various kinds get more reliable for longer periods before being replaced. There is no reason not to think Cochlears would be the same improvement over time. The surgeries and necessary details would be in the hands of the surgeon and I would imagine connections would get pretty interesting as time goes by with that.

Finally but not least, there are people I run into at the store now and then here who use Cochlear, I will ask them some of your questions the next time we run into one another sometime.
 

muddy feet

New Member
I like the way you write, life is one big story. Interesting!! & i love the message that being deaf is not a problem in life...but it is isn't it...esp if you lose your balance. And with C.IM the statistics that have come from research have suggested that most people that have C.IM go on to dev depression simply due to the rush of new sounds and heightened sense of awareness that can be stifling. All Doctors want to help you but the med-prof do not always tell you how much you have to change psychologically not just physically. Science is always changing and each country dev-differently & what county you live in...hence what is provided in your area....? nothing we can say will ever be helpful simply because your consultant will have all the answer's plus the therapist who become your counsellors. Being deaf is complicated. And c.im are not always the answer . Being positive and accepting who you are is profoundly more important. Coc.IM do not always bring a magic wand to your life....its having good coping skills BEFORE HAND.
 
Thank you, and that is hopeful that they can last quite a bit longer than the 7 years they told me? Right now, I haven't gotten this far in this slow process to discuss the type of implant I can choose from? I guess if they decide to go ahead, then that will come soon and hopefully I will be provided with that information?
I know it will be hard, I was already told the success of the implants will be up to me and how much work I put into it, and that it's a lot of hard work.

As for the Hearing Aids, I go through 2 HA batteries every 6 days or so, and over the years it has cost me a lot of money. That's why I sort of freaked when I read about batteries going in the implants? Thank you for explaining.

The one question, I think it's one that hasn't been answered yet, what happens to the affected ear once an implant has been removed, say for issues of not being able to wear one for whatever reason, can that ear still be considered for other future treatments or does having the implant and having it removed destroy something that it can no longer be usable?

muddy feet, thank you for your opinion, being deaf and not hearing anything from hearing aids can be a handicap, at least for me, some may have adapted and accepted it but for me, being late deafened, it's no picnic, that's for sure, so I either stay this way and get even worse, or I can chance it, get implants and maybe I will hear again? You are right, even with or without implants we all need coping skills. I am praying that if they do decide to go ahead, I will be spared some of the complications that come with CI and that I will be able to do my part in making it happen to hear again, to communicate again. That would be so great!
 
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