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Expectations for CI after 5+ years of deafness


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I had sudden hearing loss in my left ear 7 years ago.   Now that insurance may cover CI I have begun the process, my ENT / Surgeon have approved me for CI and it looks like I'll be going with Med-El.  I'm waiting to hear back if insurance will actually approve it.  I've been working on setting my expectations and have recently enjoyed this forums insights. 

I'm curious to hear from people who had decent hearing then sudden hearing loss and got a CI 5+ years after the loss. From what I've heard after 5 to 10 years, the likelihood of success seems to drop (although still some value). I'm prepared to put years into training my bad ear but would like to hear others experiences .

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I think you reacted to my story in another thread already but just in case you haven't, here's a briefer version.

The 5 to 10 years seems to be old, conservative guidance  You will see in HearPeers many people that have had a CI implanted more than 10 years after hearing loss started. 

Case in point, I had normal hearing and noticed started losing it in my left ear about 17 years ago.  About 7 years ago, several ENT surgeons recommended a CI.  Insurance didn't approve so I settled for a bone conduction device.  In January I finally got my CI. 

After just a couple of months, it was working better for me than the bone conduction device ever did. 

My latest booth test gave me a word recognition score of 84% and it will continue getting better.  It won't ever sound like a match to my good ear but for rehab, I can stream audiobooks directly to the device.    Getting rid of my tinnitus is maybe just as good. 

Welcome to Hearpeers!  This community has been incredibly helpful for me.

I would suggest that you add a little to your profile such as your region.  Some comments or advice might be specific to countries, clinics, etc.  Especially true when discussing things about insurance, warranty, etc.

Also, I've hosting a little monthly zoom for people that are recent and/or SSD CI recipients.  Next one is Wednesday (November 8th), 5 PM Pacific time.  Message me if you would like to join in and meet a few people that are a little further along in their hearing journey.


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My right ear had only a moderate hearing loss when I chose to have a surgery to treat Ménière’s disease symptoms in that ear which I knew would end all hearing in that ear.  It stayed completely deaf for 24 years before being implanted.  At activation it heard the beeps and then when fully turned on it heard static & beeps.  Within hours it started to hear words and amazed me every day.  It is an amazing CI ear- phone calls, audiobooks, music.  I dedicated a lot of time doing aural rehab.  Here is a link to my story if you are interested.  Wishing you the best!



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Menieres 5 years ago. Normal other ear. I was activated 3 months ago. Rather than "compare" my experience to how you might do, I'll reframe the question to this: how can I achieve the best outcome for myself?  My main answer is to read, learn, ask questions and follow the advice of your audiologist and others. They all stress the basic rule of rehab...the harder you work, the better.

I highly recommend paying for a 6-month subscription to Hearoes app.

Insist on getting an otoplan evaluation. It's somewhat new so your audiologist may need a push to do it (mine did).

Streaming songs that I already know well is helpful.i love my Bluetooth headband from Amazon... Lc dolida or similar.


That's enough for starters. Have fun!


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