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Questions for those with CIs. I was implanted March 12 with flex 28. As part of the surgery the surgeon “packed” my ear canal. As a result, I have no idea if I have any residual hearing and the packing doesn’t come out until activation in April. 

Have others experienced this same process?  How long does it usually take before we can determine if there is any residual hearing?  I would have hoped I could have heard something in the implanted ear even with the packing but because I can’t, I fear the worst. 

Thanks. 

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@JohnL

My ear canal was not packed.  I knew I had lost the little residual hearing I had right away BUT my cochlea was challenging and required drilling through the cochlea to insert the electrode array.  Round window insertions tend to be less traumatic to residual hearing.

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@JohnL I lost my residual hearing as well, despite no problems in surgery and no packing.

Sometimes it just happens.  I'm not exactly happy about it, but I know that what was left of my hearing was as NOTHING compared to how I hear from bilateral CIs.

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I am bilateral I had one operation in 2016 and the second implant in 2018 I didn’t have any packing or no problems with either procedure I have no hearing in either ear.Howeve it’s a small price to pay as to how well I hear now.

By all means when time come start your rehab,  there are many different apps available.

Keep in touch and let us know how you are progressing we are in this together.

 

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Thanks for your responses. I’m curious to hear from those that have retained some residual hearing as to how long it took to realize it was still there. Was it immediately after surgery? A week? A month?  

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On 3/16/2019 at 5:48 PM, Dave in Pittsburgh said:

I am bilateral I had one operation in 2016 and the second implant in 2018 I didn’t have any packing or no problems with either procedure I have no hearing in either ear.Howeve it’s a small price to pay as to how well I hear now.

By all means when time come start your rehab,  there are many different apps available.

Keep in touch and let us know how you are progressing we are in this together.

 

I’m just like @Dave in Pittsburgh, bilateral with surgeries in 2016 and finally in 2018. Also no packing - sorry.

At first I was surprised at having no residual hearing but I remind myself that my hearing prior to CIs was worthless - so I am ok with being deaf without my processors. That’s only when I’m asleep or in the shower  so no problem! 

Edited by Jdashiell
Mistyped word shower
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The definition of residual hearing for us recipients is very different from an audiologist. In a proper test I was able to hear some tones. At home I hear if I put my finger in my ear.. If I turn up my amplifier till the headphone almost rattles I can hear music. In reality no residual hearing.

What was interesting, during recovery my ear felt very blocked but I could hear bubbles when I swallowed. Also two or three times when it felt like the bubble had stuck,  I could hear my voice.  

So far no change, no residual. 

Keep smiling I can hear much better with my cli. 

Peter 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks pdk. I have my activation appointment this week and the doctor will remove the “packing” in my implanted ear so I will get a chance to see what I can hear. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi johnL

Hope all is going well. My CI is amazing but definitely no useful residual. 

I did try a residual hearing aid but the sounds were almost hilarious. I was and am so happy with the low frequency hearing that I decided to forget it. 

Peter 

 

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Peter

I am now two and a half weeks post activation and all I hear from my CI is high pitched noise. I had very little residual hearing so audi decided it wasn’t worth EAS. I’m doing rehab every day but not much has changed, still just high pitched noise. 

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Hi johnL 

That doesn't seem right. The only one who can help you is your audiologist. I am definitely not an expert but logic tells me if the hardware is working you must be able to create some change in sound. Cochlear provides a set of headphones that plug into the unit  So a hearing person can hear if the external unit is working. What happened at your switch on? 

I hope you get help very quickly. 

 

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At activation the audi tested the electrodes and set a basic hearing level. She also set up 3 more “programs” that were simply increases in volume. I increased volume every other day for a week and then went back to audi. Word recognition had not changed. She modified programs slightly but again set just 4 programs with simply increasing volume. I am to change those (go to higher volume) every week. Now on the second “program” with higher volume and still negligible word recognition in that ear. I go back to audi in a week and a half. 

Frankly, I don’t know where I go from here. I guess I just wait and hope that I will attain some word recognition. Otherwise this whole process was worthless. 

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@JohnL

 

A few questions that you may want to ask at your appointment possibly.....

-was an image taken post surgery to see the position of the electrode array (x-ray or CT scan)?  If not, can one be taken to ensure the electrode is positioned correctly?

-are all 12 electrodes turned on?

-can you listen to each electrode separately to see if they all sound the same to you?  This is easily done by playing your MCL (most comfortable loudness) levels.  They will sound like beeps to you.  Hopefully they do not all sound the same.

 

When you practice aural rehab....

Are you able to hear the difference between one syllable, two syllable and three syllable words when you practice listening at home?

cat, monkey, kangaroo

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@Percy

You told us about a slow start in understanding speech with your left CI but that things improved at around 6 months, right?  Can you describe what things sounded like to you in the first couple of months?

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Hi johnL 

Mary Beth has said it all. All the tests for my internal device were done during the operation and I was told all OK when I woke up. 

Hope you have improvement at your next mapping. 

Peter 

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@JohnL, @Mary Beth

it has been almost 10 years since I have been implanted in my left ear, I can’t remember exactly what sounds I was hearing upon activation. I do know that I was very disappointed with what I was hearing (or not hearing) everything sounded like a big noise but as time went on I started to distinguish between syllables in words and then speech and then I could hear my name over a cubicle wall  

For what it is worth my left ear (implanted ear) does much better than my right ear (hearing aid) and I am scheduled to be implanted on June 7 for my right ears because I see just how much I am missing on my right side, hang in there @JohnL it does get better  

 

 

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Thank you @Percy and o wish you the best on your second CI!

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Thanks for your encouragement. In answer to Mary Beth’s questions, I know an X-ray was taken during surgery but wasn’t told the results. I will ask the other questions you suggest. And during aural rehab I can recognize the difference between one, two and three syllable words. I just can’t tell what the words are unless I’m reading them. And if I block my other ear, I don’t even recognize the words. 

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@JohnL

My surgeons showed me my xrays.  So cool to see the implant and the electrodes.

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I don’t see my surgeon for another six months. During surgery he came out to my wife to say they were done and just taking xrays - so I assume they were of the electrodes. Not sure audi has access to them. I just want them to work!

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@JohnL

The reason I asked about seeing if your electrode array is positioned correctly via imaging is that quite a few people found out months later that their electrode arrays were not positioned correctly.  Their surgeons did not take images.  Those people struggled for months just to find out later that the electrode arrays were not positioned correctly.  They required reimplantations.

I was fortunate that my surgeons routinely use x-rays during surgery.  It sounds like your surgeon did too.

I think imaging should be standard of care for CI surgeries.  I hope it will be someday.

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