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Hello. I am the mom of a 4 year old with bilateral severe sensorineural hearing loss. She is a candidate for a CI and we are trying yo make a decision on brand! I am hopeful this site will give us some insight!

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Anyone have experience with using FM and other assistive technology with their child's Med El? Cochlear seems to have a significant accessories (mini microphone, phone clip) and I have had a harder time finding similar products for Med el. 

I am drawn to the internal tech of Med el, though, like the microarray and compatibility with MRI. Music is very important to our family and I feel if we are going to get our daughter a CI I want her to have access to the best quality of sound she can have- is the difference between just envelope and fine hearing with envelope truly significant to the user? 

Also, I am confused about the link between less traumatic insertion and future technology. What is the implication here? If you have severe to profound hearing loss it dose not seem there are many hairs in the cochlear that are functional. Is the idea that a cochlear implant could damage the auditory nerve fibers. Our audiologist stated that the majority of people that need revisions with all three brands have had success with future implants.

Whoa, I just realized I have had a lot questions going through my mind! Thank you any info y'all can share!

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  • HearPeers Heroes

I know a number of people including myself who have taken advantage of assistive technology. The sonnet comes with the Quattro which is a telecoil device worn around the neck to assist in listening and I also have an fm system which does similar just a little better in quality. The benefit to these are a teacher of a student can wear the transmitter around their neck, everything that the teacher says, is sent wirelessly to the processors of the child which makes it much easier to hear and understand.

less traumatic insertion of the electrode array is a big deal if there is any residual hearing left. Due to the way the arrays are designed and the way they are placed they have a much higher rate of preservation of any residual hearing.

medel has more than enough room for any future software upgrades for years to come. The implants are also what's called backwards compatible. What this means is that even though you or your child might already have the implant, if they come up with a new software upgrade or different coding strategy, they will be able to add that to your child's implant. Also any future sound processor upgrades would be available and work with the implant they have now.

as far as damaging the hearing nerve, obviously you can never give guarantees. This is where the skill of the surgeon comes in. There is always a chance but I would say highly unlikely. A question like that though would be best answered by your surgeon and CI team as I am not a doctor.

i myself did an extreme amount of research and one of the reasons I went with Medel is that they put a vast majority back into research and development always trying to improve. I am very happy with the choice I have made and given the chance to switch if I wanted, that would be no. They have improved my quality of life in ways that you can't even describe

welcome to hearpeers and please ask as many questions as you would like

adam

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  • HearPeers Heroes

Welcome.  It is a big decision and it was overwhelming for me too.  I have bilateral Med-El implants.  I received both in 2015 and I love them.  Music sounds great.  In fact, I returned to playing the piano this summer after decades of being unable to play due to my hearing loss.  I wish the best for your daughter.

 

As a Teacher of the Deaf I work with students who have all 3 CI brands.  Although the mini mic from Cochlear is a nice option to listen to one speaker, we actually have to use the same kind of FM System that works with all three brands in school so the student can hear both teachers in the room.  Med-El has a future technology coming out that will wirelessly stream audio to the Sonnet processors.  We do not know the release date yet.

 

I have only been implanted since 2015 and I have already used the Opus2, Rondo and Sonnet processors.  The processors and accessory devices change all of the time.  It's the internal component that we continue to use for a long time.  Med-El makes their future processors backward compatible with older internal devices.  I have friends who have been implanted for 15 years and they are able to use the new Sonnet processor because of this.  Not all CI brands do this.

 

I chose Med-El for the electrode array options.  I wanted access to the low frequency sounds which lie deep in our cochlea.   I wanted the electrodes spaced to lessen any overlay of sounds.  There is a reason Med-El has 12 electrodes spaced out over a longer array.

 

I have never regretted my choice.  Med-El has been great and has super customer service.

 

best of luck,

Mary Beth

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  • HearPeers Heroes

Great point which I forgot to mention. The customer service is second to none. You feel that the customer service rep you have, really cares and wants to do their best in getting the answer you need.

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  • HearPeers Heroes

Hello and welcome to the Hearpeers,

I would underline the importance of the electrode length as one of the most important issues, especially if you stress the importance of music in your lives.

Beside that, from medical perspective, compatibility with 3.0T MRI is very important...

Regarding the accessories, outer technology will evolve even more so I wouldn't take this as the essential step for making decisions.

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  • HearPeers Heroes

I'll just say welcome to Hearpeers!! My buddies nailed the explanations!! 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just want to say Thank you so much for all your replys! We are definitely leaning toward Med El. It makes complete sense what you are saying about the processor technology always changing and to focus more on the internal device. I am happy to hear Med El is coming out with a new streaming device soon. 

We haven't been able to find any parents in our area that went with Med El for their small child and I would love a parent's perspective too. Any one out there that can share their experience after their child was implanted with a Med El device?

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  • HearPeers Heroes

Are you in North Carolina?  If so, there are many many Med-El users there.  The fastest ways to find parents of Med-El users in your region are :

 

1) Contact Med-El and ask to be put in touch with the COM (community outreach manager) for your area.  Then ask the COM to put you in touch with parents.  They do this kind of networking all of the time.

 

2) Search for and ask to join the FaceBook group called Med El Cochlear Implant Discussion Group.  It is a closed group of Med El users and parents of Med El users.  Post your question to the group and parents will jump in and answer them.

 

best of luck.

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  • 2 months later...

You should reach out to the ENT department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  I'm a 49-year old man who had both ears implanted last fall (2015) by Dr. Harold Pillsbury.  I had a great experience in every way, not just with him but with all the staff including the audiologists.  MedEl has been good to me as well.

45 years ago I was the child with the severe bilateral hearing loss and I wore hearing aids from age 3 until I received the CIs.

Feel free to contact me at rodearly@gmail.com.

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  • 3 weeks later...

One of many reasons why I picked MedEl is because it is MRI compatible.  Although I do not have a medical condition currently that requires MRIs, I feel it is wise to consider the future.  I did not even browse this community until after my implant. I wish I had though because what an awesome community of support it is!

My primary processor is the Rondo.  I love my Rondo!  I like my other processors as well, but love the Rondo the best. I also love how Med-El offers so much support. :-)  It's great.  I have used the Quatro but am not in the habit of using it to date, but it does work well.  I have found that I can hear on the phone more and more (except when I am so tired after work :P ) .  My husband no longer have to help me when I am talking on the phone (for the most part anyhow...I still have trouble from time to time - especially with those who have foreign accent).  My husband is as amazed as I am with my hearing ability.  He could be on the phone with his mother, and I hear my mother-in-law clearly without having the phone up to my ear.  I was using a doctor in Atlanta, GA, but have moved from the state and will soon be going to a new audiologist.  Based on all my experience with Med-El, I am confident you will feel the same!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • HearPeers Heroes

MEDELS U.Headquarters are in NC. As said previously, I'm pretty sure if you contact them, they can put you in touch with some parents. Another thought which I know isn't quite the same but might help, is to go to the Medel website. They have a number of videos about people's stories and getting a CI. Some are Children so you would get the parents perspective. Also talk to your clinic. The hospital I went to, sends people my way all the time who are contemplating taking this step but wanted to speak to somebody who went through it first. Hope this helps

adam

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  • HearPeers Heroes

I got my support form this group of wonderful people. ?

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