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Hearing loss due to premature birth and cochlear implant candidate


Marsha
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I am being considered for a cochlea implant. I am 68 years of age.  I have met several people who have lost all their hearing in the ear in which the implant was done.  I have not met others like me who have been severly hard of hearing all their life and had a cochlear implant.  I have never had normal hearing due to a premature birth.  I have a 20% word recognition in my left ear without a hearing aid and have used my right ear exclusively for speech recognition. My speech recognition in my left ear is very limited.   I would like some feedback about how successful the implant would be on another persons like me in this situation.  The implant would be in my left ear.  Especially speech recognition for one who has always had difficulty understanding speech. 

Another question would be how successful the operation is in nerve sparing the remaining hearing in the implant ear.  I was informed that one might lose their remaining hearing when operating on the ear for the implant.  I understand that the new sound on the cochlea side has been described as different as being masked.  How long does it take before one adjusts to the difference and both sides ears work together with the new cochlea implant.

Any feedback would be more than welcome.  Thanks so much for taking the time to address some of my issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Marsha and welcome to Hearpeers. Well to start, I would say that an implant is never the same from one person to another. Because eacn of us have different anatomies there is no real way of telling how we will do with an implant. But from my experience most people do very well. There is a chance that you could lose your residual hearing (what you have left) but that's not always the case. Your surgeon will know best what to say about your outcome as he/she knows your hearing history and anatomy best. It takes a lot of work to get the cochlea and the implant working well. Which includes what we call mapping. Mapping is the activation and adjustments of the program of the internal implant and external processor. As well as aural rehab. For the best resutls it is up to you to do daily rehab to get it working. Check out our forum on aural rehab there are many suggestions there. You audiologist will also guide you as to where to start but it is mostly up to you. Best of luck on your journey! Kara?

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Hi Marsha,

 

Welcome.  I wish you the best on your hearing journey.

 

I did lose the little residual hearing in my left side when I was implanted but my cochlea was ossified and it was a more difficult insertion, not through the round window.  I did not have much useable hearing in that side anyway and my loss was progressive so it was disappearing anyway.  I function wonderfully with my cochlear implant and after adjusting to hearing nothing when I remove the processor at night before bed, it has been great.

 

There are people who retain their residual hearing after implantation.  I know several of them.  

 

Will you continue to use a hearing aid in your right ear and be bimodal (1 CI and 1 HA)?  

 

Getting my CIs has been the best decision ever.  I hope your journey is just as satisfying.  Kara is correct.  Aural rehab is your friend.  Smile.

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Hi Marsha!

Welcome to the group [emoji16]

I grew up with a severe/profound loss in both my ears. It happened around 2 years old after having chicken pox really bad. Fast forward to October 2016 and I got my left ear implanted at 30 years old. It's truly amazing and life changing. My surgeon was able to preserve the little residual hearing I had left in my implant ear. At the time I had zero word discrimination in my left ear. Aural rehab will absolutely, without a doubt be your best friend after activation. The more time you dedicate to aural rehab the better your ear will bounce back. It takes time and patience but it's so worth it!!

Ask all the questions you need and good luck!

*Megan


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I'm late 50's. I too had hearing loss in both ears from either birth or at a young age. Unfortunately I lost the residual hearing in my left ear post-implant but just consider this a very very minor set-back as it wasn't very good to begin with.

At my 3 month appointment a few weeks ago I learned I have gone from nearly zero word recognition to a little over 80 percent.

The adjustment is strange for sure. I keep hearing how sooner or later sounds will start to sound "normal" again. Oddly, at this point I find it really hard to believe. I struggle with music which is my first love. My left implant and my right ear sometimes seems to be in a battle to see who wins out. No cohesion going on there yet.

And I wouldn't take back a minute of this. My close friends are amazed at how much conversation I pick up now. I'm hearing sounds I haven't heard in years. I've already come to the conclusion that if my hearing never gets any better than it is today, despite all the strangeness, despite all I'm still not able to do,  I'm leaps and bounds ahead of where I was going into surgery. And of course it will get better. Just takes time and practise.

This is not like getting a pair of glasses which immediately provides benefits. It will take time, rehab, perhaps a touch of self-doubt (for me perhaps 15 seconds a month) but the benefits so outweighed the drawbacks in my case that I am so glad I took the plunge. 

I really don't want to sound like a shill, but perhaps you notice that trend around here? There is good reason for that...

Good luck with your decision!

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Thanks everyone so much for taking the time to get back to me.  I really appreciate it and it has been great to hear the positive feedback that everyone has given me.  I will definitely look into aural rehab. BTW, I will continue to wear my HA in my right ear.

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I forgot to mention, I wear a HA in my right ear and so far it's been working out well! No conflicts [emoji41] definitely check out our aural rehab section. There are a lot of great resources there! Keep us updated [emoji16]

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BTW I wear a HA in my left ear. My Audi does maps and asks if it sounds balanced. So it all works out!!

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  • 1 month later...

Hello, Marsha: I am 74 and recently made the decision to get a Med-El implant for my right ear. My surgery is scheduled for July 3 in Bethesda, MD. I have had severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears since birth, but I learned to wear hearing aids when I was very young and have worn them all my life. In the last year, my hearing has gotten much worse and my doctors at Johns Hopkins told me to consider a CI. I think you have received excellent advice from the others above; Megan, Mary Beth, and Adam all greeted me when I signed onto this site as a Newbie in April 2017. I spent several months studying all three makers of CIs and interviewing CI users of all three brands. Altogether I connected with 15 users and 3 company reps - some in person, some by email. I finally chose Med-El because the users I talked to had similar hearing backgrounds and clearly had adapted very well to their CIs. I think it's important to look at all the product literature and connect with as many users as practicable for you. I hope you will stay in touch through this forum. Lita

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Lita,

 

Now that you have a surgery date, the countdown begins!  Smile.

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Thanks, Mary Beth. I'm trying to think what I need to do to prepare. Get a User Manual from Med-El and study it? Read up on rehab exercises that I'll need to do to get the most out of my CI? Is there some kind of orderly pattern to follow? Where do I begin now that I've decided to go ahead with it. Bet Marsha would like to know, too. I see your name everywhere in HearPeers. I would appreciate a short list from you to get started, and I will be happy to share my experiences with all.

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Hi Lita,

 

I did exactly what you listed.  Smile.

 

I read the online manual for my processor several times to get prepared.  And because I was so excited.

 

I researched aural rehab apps and downloaded them on my iPad so I would be all ready after activation.  Just look in the aural rehab topic here in HearPeers and you will read lots of suggestions from many of us.  Terrific resource.

 

Manuals are on the Medel.com site under downloads.

 

wishing you the best.

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Your Audi will guide you somewhat as well. They will know your history best and what while work and what won't. Also it's not a sprint so sometimes we need to be really patient and perseverance will help with that. It's a journey well worth the hard work though so best of luck!! 

 

Kara?

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