Life with Cochlear Implants

Balance Testing in City Name, State

“There are times when I’ve been brought to tears realizing I can hear a certain sound again. Water rippling, the sound of children in the park, words that my grandson may be saying to me. I feel like I’m able to participate in my own life, the way I choose to.

Mary, Cochlear™ Nucleus® recipient

Headphones for a hearing testHear Her Story

Live Life in Full Color – Consider Cochlear Implants

Losing your hearing can feel like your life goes from full color to black and white, from being part of your family to feeling like you’re the only one in the room. Even with the best hearing aids, your hearing can deteriorate until nothing seems to work anymore.

And that’s no way to live.

But there is hope. You have choices on how to treat your hearing loss.

We’ve heard amazing stories from patients about their experiences with Cochlear Implants, Bone Conduction Solutions, and Hybrid Hearing Solutions.

After a full hearing evaluation and test, we’ll review what hearing solutions work best for your type of hearing loss. If hearing aids are no longer enough, we may refer you to a doctor to talk about:

Cochlear Implants

This hearing solution has two parts: an external sound processor similar to hearing aids and a surgical implant that transmits sound directly to the inner ear, bypassing damaged parts of the ear. They help people with moderate to severe hearing loss and where hearing aids are no longer enough.

Bone Conduction Systems

Bone conduction solutions rely on the other way we hear – through our bones. Patients who have problems with their outer or middle ears are often a better fit for technology that uses bone conduction. There are surgical and non-surgical options, and they can be an excellent choice for people who have conductive or mixed hearing loss, or who only have hearing loss on one side. You can even test drive the non-surgical option before you make a decision on whether this is right for you.

Hybrid Hearing Solutions

There’s a difference between hearing noise and understanding speech. Let’s face it, hearing loss often happens unevenly. If you can hear some low-frequency sounds such as a deep voice but have trouble hearing a child’s high voice, a hybrid solution might be right for you.

Not only are these hearing solutions incredibly powerful and effective, they are often covered by insurance. (See here for more details on insurance coverage.)

Understanding Your Hearing Test Results

 

We’ll record the results of your hearing test on a form called an audiogram, which we will review with you. The audiogram reflects your hearing loss in frequencies and decibels. We’ll show you the type, pattern and degree of hearing loss, as well as the percentage of normal conversational speech that you’re still able to hear. We will then relate these results to your concerns about your hearing.

Next, we’ll consider treatment solutions. You can count on our team to take the time necessary to understand your concerns so that they can provide you with everything you need to make an informed personal decision.

When to Consider Cochlear Hearing Solutions

If you’re wearing your hearing aids faithfully, but still:

  • Struggle to make out conversation
  • Think people are mumbling all the time
  • Read lips and ask people to repeat themselves
  • Can’t hear in noisy environments
  • Feel isolated

These are all indications that your hearing aids are no longer enough for you.

Studies show that patients with cochlear implants were:

  • 5 times more satisfied with their ability to understand what is said on TV1
  • 11 times more satisfied with their ability to hear on the phone2

Plus, they understood sentences 7 times better than with hearing aids alone.3 

Here’s what patients say after getting implants.

Schedule a test to see what hearing loss treatments are best for you.

References

  1. Clinical Evaluation of the Cochlear Nucleus CI532 Cochlear Implants in Adults Investigator Meeting. 2019 Apr.
  2. Potts LG, Skinner MW, Litovsky RA, Strube MJ, Kuk F. Recognition and localization of speech by adult cochlear implant recipients wearing a digital hearing aid in the nonimplanted ear (bimodal hearing). Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 2009 Jun 1;20(6):353-73.
  3. Balkany T, Hodges A, Menapace C, et al. Nucleus Freedom North American clinical trial. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2007; 136(5):757-762.
  4. Semenov, YR, Yeh, ST, Seshamani, M, Wang, N-Y, Tobey, EA, Eisenberg, LS, Quittner, AL, Frick, KD, Niparko, JK, CDaCI Investigative Team. Age-Dependent Cost-Utility of Pediatric Cochlear Implantation. Ear Hear. 2013;34(4):402-412.
  5. Niparko JK(1), Tobey EA, Thal DJ, Eisenberg LS, Wang NY, Quittner AL, Fink NE, CDaCI Investigative Team. Spoken language development in children following cochlear implantation. JAMA. 2010 Apr 21; 303(15):1498-506.
  6. Effects of Hearing Loss on Development. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) [Internet]. 2013 [Cited 2013 July]. Available from: https://www.asha.org/public/early-identification-of-speech-language-and-hearing-disorders/
  7. Sharma A, Gilley P, Martin K, Roland P, Bauer P, Dorman M. (2007). Simultaneous versus sequential bilateral implantation in young children: Effects on central auditory system development and plasticity. Audiological Medicine, 5(4), 218-223.
  8. https://pubs.asha.org/doi/10.1044/0161-1461%282004/031%29
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