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Little_chooky

Hello from Australia

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Hi all, 

I am from melbourne in Australia. I’m new here - I lost my hearing on my left side 2 months ago (profound loss) after an ear infection. I now have tinnitus as well. Ive been told it’s most likely permanent but have to wait a couple more months before I could look at implants.

Would be keen to hear any tips on coping with single sided deafness / if you are considering CI or if you already have one and found it has helped. 

 

Cheers :)

Caroline

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Hi Caroline and welcome to HearPeers!

@Little_chooky

 

I am sorry to hear of your recent loss of hearing in your left ear.

@VeroNika is a single sided deaf CI user, and an amazing pianist! 

 

Wishing you te the best on your hearing journey!

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Hi @Little_chooky - welcome!  I'm sorry to hear about your loss of hearing - but I will hope you're helped by an implant!

I'm curious - I have a friend in Tasmania who uses the word "chook" to refer to chickens.  Is that the source of your nick?  ?

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Another Australian in the forum @Little_chooky! Welcome!

I'm not Australian but I have been living in Adelaide for 11 years now. Feel free to ask any questions, we are here to help you find your answers. Are you going through private health insurance?

Lol @Mary Featherston! yes we call Chooks to chickens here, in fact, I have a deli near me that is called Cook'nChooks :D 

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Thanks for the welcome everyone :)

@Mary Featherston @Daniel the Stranger yes my nickname is because I do love chickens. We used to have a lot of them when we lived on a farm but haven't got our new place set up for them yet. It's so peaceful to watch them scratch around in the garden and I do miss them!

@Mary Beth thanks for the tip, I will see if I can chat to Veronika. I gather that using CIs for single sided deafness is relatively new and I am interested to hear from other users.

@Daniel the Stranger great to meet another person in Australia. I may definitely have some questions for you re the aussie system as I do more research. Sadly we cancelled our private health insurance (after having it for >10 years) and decided to self insure just before this happened. So I am back to square one on waiting periods ?. I'm starting to do some research on the best health fund now, so I have something in place in case I do go down the CI route. Did you have yours done public or private? 

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@Little_chooky I did mine in Private. Time was too precious for me to sit and wait in public. I also had to meet the 12 month waiting period as I had the most basic cover which didn't include CIs.

I did both my ears with medibank this year, I know they are not the cheaper now but it was competitive when I joined and I didn't want to consider changes until I had my both ears done. Make sure to ask the sales person if the plan you are considering includes CIs. I did this via chat and saved the logs in case I had a problem with them the moment of surgery.

 

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@Daniel the Stranger thanks so much for those tips. I will definitely be asking lots of questions as I assume there are ongoing costs associated with CIs as well - processors and batteries etc... 

An audiologist I recently saw did say the wait period for public care was (in theory) 4-5 months, but I assume you get a lot more choice in the type of implant etc if you go private?

 

How are you going post all your surgery - it has been a very busy year for you! How are you finding things now you have both your CIs switched on? 

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@Little_chooky I have no idea about waiting periods for CIs in Australia to be honest. I also don't know if you can choose the brand but I can have these answer by Friday as I have an appointment with my Audi at noon.

Very busy months indeed, both surgeries were performed in a space of 5 months. Rehab is going very good and my hearing has improved a lot but there is still a long way to go.

I forgot to ask you where do you live?

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Oh no. I just wrote a nice reply and now it's a gone! Hm. Will start again....

So: Welcome @Little_chooky to Hear Pears!! I'm sorry to hear about your sudden hearing loss!! As @Mary Beth mentioned I am single sided deaf (SSD) on my left ear as well. I was born with regular hearing, turned deaf around age 3,5 (unknown virus) and was not fitted with hearing aids for the next 18 years as it was believed that my hearing nerve is damaged.long story short: my nerve is fine and thus I got my cochlea implant aged 21 and am a very happy CI user since 2011! ? So I know both sides pretty well - living with SSD  with no assistance as well as using a CI. So what are you most interested in at the moment - getting to know more about coping strategies I use(d) or how and to what extent the CI is helping me in my daily life? Just let me know and I'll do my best to assist!  ?However I am Austrian - as Ausreians we often get confused with Australia so there is a habit of t-shirts saying "no cangaros in Austria" ? - so please bear with my english... ?

Cheers & all the best, Veronika

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Hi @VeroNika

Thanks for your reply. Don't you hate it when the browser eats all your typing and you have to try and remember what you said! 

Thanks also for your English - I studied German for my whole time at high school but I am ashamed to say I would not know where to start trying to speak it now :( Is German your native language? I have a feeling there are a few different ones spoken in Austria?

As to hearing loss, I would love to hear your top 5 tips for coping with SSD ! For me the worst thing at the moment is the way the tinnitus seems to react to noisy environments and become even more noisy. Hence I not only have to cope with half (or even less) of the hearing I'm used to but also try and hear over the top of the tinnitus. Do you have tinnitus from your deafness, and is it helped by the CI?

For now I am not sure if I am eligible for a CI - I don't even know what the assessment process involves as I am very new to all of this. I will save most of my questions about living with CIs until I know more about my situation. However I am very interested to hear  what it is like having normal hearing in one ear and digital hearing in the other? Does your brain learn to blend the two types of hearing quite well or is it quite obvious each ear is 'hearing' differently?

I am sure I will have heaps more questions but will leave it at that for now!

Hope you are having a lovely weekend :)

Caroline

 

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Hi @Little_chooky Caroline,

Happy to reply! :) Oh well, browser-stuff like that happens every now and then... (btw: a little later it turned up again but I had already rewritten it ;) )

Yaaay, so you now some German, that's awesome! :D Well our official language is also "German" but "Austrian German" - and our German is quite different than the German's German - at least spoken. Written it's quite the same and we understand them easily when they talk but our many different dialects kind of give them a hard time! ;)

I sort of hear regular on my right ear - I say sort of as I also have tinnitus on my right ear (due to acute hearing loss in my right ear in 2016 which happened due to Lyme's disease, no detectable tinnitus on my left ear) and, simliar like yours, it reacts to noisy environment, so I'll include tips for that in my top  5 for SSD (for that I am not considering the CI, but rather how it is without it):

1. when talking to people I like them to be opposite or on my right side (so that my "good" ear is closer to them speaking), I am also aware of lightning (wanting there face to be nicely in light, so that I can do lip reading more easily as well as better reading their body language, which also helps), the room itself, carefully choosing where I sit or stand when talking to people (also, like when going to a restaurant I like to be proactive and choose the seat that's best in regards to hearing)

2. letting people know - I feel that trying to understand in noisy environments often is quite difficult at itself and I feel that when I let people know they are more understanding but - somewhat even more important - it eases my personal stresslevel in these situations (however: for important talks I would carefully chose the sound setting, I would not have important talks in noisy environments, or with a lot background noise or in rooms with bad acoustics)

3. In Austria we have a hearing aids and hearing protection company called Neuroth - they make these amazing hearing protection pieces, that are custom made to fit your ear and then you can put little filters in these pieces that will for one protect your ear and eardrums from too much noise and two (which is the amazing thing) will also help with understanding, as they sort of turn down nasty noises while still letting you understand speech clearly as well as letting you enjoy music or so. I use these a lot (I also have one set for my deaf ear, as I feel that I still want to protect my eardrum - this may sound weird to some people, but it's just my way of taking care of my deaf ear too, which is important to me :) ) in like restaurants, in loud cars, when on a plane (not while starting / landing due to the changing pressure, but when at flight hight I like them), train/bus stations, etc. -> AND: for me they come in super handy with my tinnitus, as usually when I'm in loud hearing situations my tinnitus turns up afterwards. When using these for me the tinnitus doesn't get as loud later. -> These handy little Neuroth-Protection-Pieces were somewhat pricey but I love them. Maybe that is something that could help you cope with your tinnitus as well? I'm certain that Australia would probably have something simliar! If you want, I can photograph them for you so that you can get an idea of these things. :)

4. Taking care of my hearing ear. Protecting my hearing ear from loud noises is very important to me. But also taking care of it in the way of getting some "hearing rest" during the day. Like for example when I am on a full day training course, where I have to listen a lot, I like to take the breaks not to talk or listen to others but rather to relax my ear, go to a quiet room, go out in nature (I find the calm of nature and nature sounds very relaxing to my ears), or whatever feels comfortable.

5. Being patient with myself and my hearingloss and aknowleding that with it a regular day takes me more energy than it may take a person with regular hearing. So I like to make sure I get enough "hearing-breaks" and relax my hearing so that I have enough "listening-strength" throughout the day.


I hope you find these top 5 useful - let me know, if you'd like more info (for example on strategies I use to sort of be able to detect the origin of sounds, cell phone, etc.)! :)

In regards to CI stimulus/regular stimulus and how my brain copes: it does just fine! ;) Yes, left cI-ear is a little different but me and my brain don't mind - I feel it even helps me in telling where sounds come from. Also it's not like super-duper-different, it's just that - to me - on my left ear I don't just "hear" sounds I also sort of "feel" them - but it's hard to describe. I know that there still are many concerns out there about SSD and CI and how does it all work - I can only speak for myself, but all I can say is that it work's just awesome and I personally love my CI and would every day choose it again! :)

cheers from Graz, Veronika

 

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@VeroNika

 

I would love you to post more about Neuroth.  Thanks!

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Yes, @VeroNika - this is interesting.  Is Neuroth a common Austrian name?  I only wonder because when I was in high school there was an Austrian girl in our class as an exchange student and that was her name.

Their website seems only to be in German.

 

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On 11/20/2018 at 3:25 AM, Mary Featherston said:

Yes, @VeroNika - this is interesting.  Is Neuroth a common Austrian name?  I only wonder because when I was in high school there was an Austrian girl in our class as an exchange student and that was her name.

Their website seems only to be in German.

 

Oh that's funny, @Mary Featherston, that there was an Austrian Neuroth-girl! It's not very common, but there's a few! :)

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So, @Mary Featherston and @Mary Beth about Neuroth:

It's an Austrian company specialized in hearing aids as well as hearing protection as well as certain medical equipment. They have offices/distribute in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, France and I think also in Slovenia. Hm, I also just searched for an English website - couldn't find one either. About the hearing protection I use, here's a link to the product site of the one's I use (although mine are from 2010, so an older generation ;)) https://at.neuroth.com/gehoerschutz/gehoerschutz-fuer-erwachsene/gehoerschutz-fuer-musiker-fans/  So they are especially designed for musicians so that when protecting your ear you still have a nice quality of sound. There are several options in material and customized ones are available as well as "regular fit" ones.  In regards to the ones I use: The protection piece consists of two parts: one part that is custom fitted (you can clean that with water) to my left and to my right ear. And within that piece you can fit in little "filters" (they are not to get wet) that vary in their degrees of sound protection level. There's 9F which is just a little protection, 15 and 25, which is the highest protection - the filters are a little fiddly to change, but the awesome thing is that even with the highest protection level sound is still clear and nice! :D I like using them in loud/noisy environments as - obviously - they protect my ear and also when using them tinnitus in my right hearing ear is not as bad later on. Is there something similar available in the US?

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@VeroNika

I’m guessing that we have something similar for musicians in the US, but I’mnot sure.  Maybe @Jdashiell would know.

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Looks like- I could not read the language- items for ear canals. Unfortunately, my ear canal pathway no longer functions for auditory Hearing. I can only hear via my processors. 

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@Mary Beth, @Mary FeatherstonThis is the website I looked at when I searched Neuroth hearing protection, it does allow you to select English as a language. I hope that's the right one @VeroNika?

https://www.earwear.me/en/

 

 

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Thanks for the link @Little_chooky!

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Thanks, @Little_chooky - they aren't terribly expensive either.  Though as Joe notes, I no longer hear anything via my ear canals so it's not for me.

But more people with normal hearing should use these.  I would think that they'd help prevent hearing loss that results from listening to too-loud music?

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@Mary Featherston I totally agree that more people should use them, they will definitely help prevent hearing loss. Sometimes it takes losing your hearing though to realise how precious it is. I did wear ear plugs to music events before I lost hearing in my left ear, but only in recent years. As a teenager and young adult I listened to plenty of very loud music (the louder the better) without any hearing protection. I wonder what I was thinking now, and hope it doesn't cause me to lose hearing in my right ear later in life. With my kids I am starting them early with earmuffs whenever we are listening to loud music or doing anything loud in the garden - start good habits early!

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Hi Caroline - another Aussie here, I'm in Sydney and use the wonderful SCIC for my preparation, rehab and ongoing mapping checks. I'm not sure if they are in Victoria or if there is a similar group there. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

@VeroNika - I visit Graz every year to pick up my motorcycle that's stored in Sinabelkirchen. I'd love to meet you next year when I'm over.

Matt

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Hi @Matt I have read that SCIC is the best centre for cochlear implants in Australia. Unfortunately I'm in Adelaide but I'm also glad that I found a very good doctor and a dedicated Audi who worked with me for both implants.

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4 minutes ago, Daniel the Stranger said:

Hi @Matt I have read that SCIC is the best centre for cochlear implants in Australia. Unfortunately I'm in Adelaide but I'm also glad that I found a very good doctor and a dedicated Audi who worked with me for both implants.

@Daniel the Stranger  - SCIC are growing slowly, I feel very lucky to have them close by.

I get over to Adelaide every year for WOMAD and have ideas of maybe moving there one day.

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Nice @Matt!! you are most welcome here! Adelaide is such a nice place to live. If you have time maybe we can meet when you come back next year?

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