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Andrea P

New here & new hearing help!

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Hi everyone, 

I’m new to this group and looking for some advice or insight. I was born with congenital cholesteatoma of my left ear and have been deaf in my left ear since birth. I am 29 years old and had my last surgery on Monday. I can hear! It’s all very exciting but I didn’t anticipate the shock, overwhelmingness, and sensory overload that would ensue. Going out in public is so overwhelming I barely leave my house. Everything is so loud, and I’m having trouble coping with this new hearing. It hasn’t even been a week and my hearing is supposed to improve for up to 3 months. Has anyone been through something similar, how did you cope, how long is the transition? Will I feel normal again? Help! 

Thank you, 

Andrea P. 

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Hello @Andrea P

Did you receive an implant in your recent surgery or was it a different kind of surgery that worked for you and restored hearing to that ear?

 

Getting used to hearing sounds in an ear that has not heard sounds for a long time can be an adjustment.

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Hi Mary Beth, 

Thank you for replying! I have had 3 surgeries but for this surgery, they replaced a prosthetic ear bone (incus, which my prior prosthetic was an older model and had fallen to the side) and they placed a titanium rod because my ossicles were so far back from my eardrum there was no conduction happening. So my hearing is all my own essentially. It’s hard because I can’t turn this new noise off and it’s so much to handle. From being deaf in my left ear my whole life to now hearing is too hard to handle. I want to turn it off. 

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@Andrea P

I am sorry the adjustment is difficult for you right now.  I encourage you to connect with your doctor/audiologist and discuss anything you can do to help ease your transition back to full sound.

This forum is hosted by Med-El so almost everyone here has a Med-El Implant or uses a Med-El ADHEAR.  You may not find people who have had their natural hearing restored in the way you have experienced.

There are many people here though who have experienced going from a previously completely deaf ear to restored hearing through implants.

I hope your adjustment to restored sound goes quickly and you find yourself enjoying bilateral hearing.

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I did have a tough first week. I was hearing high frequency for first time. Papers were too loud, dishes and I had to be very very careful even then they were still loud. Adjustment on first follow up as I told my audiologist about how too loud. With 7 months with Sonnet, I still find buses and trucks too annoying when they brake. Dishes are not too bad. 
 

But I won’t trade for peace and quiet as I can hear birds and I like hearing them. Cicadas are something else but I don’t actually mind them. My brain just had to adjust for all the new noises. So much noises and I try to figure where they’re coming from. 
 

I am deaf both ears and wore only one hearing aid as my left was not getting any benefit from HA. I tend to turn my head a lot because of only one side cochlear implantation and I can pinpoint noise more easily. I found it easier than HA. 
 

It only been a week but your brain is still learning all the new noises. It will take a while. I actually know what you’re going through. I cringed a lot when buses stopped and opened doors. Whoosh. Hated that and still do. But I like hearing birds so I wouldn’t wish for lowered high frequency. There may be a few annoying noises for me but I can live with them in ways I can. At live outdoor concerts, volumes for speakers were set pretty high and I had to turn the volume down on my Sonnet with fine tuner. I wouldn’t trade high frequency for peace and quiet as I really like listening to nature. 

 

I'm adjusting to life of more hearing but I’m loving it. Last follow up, my audiologist turned up my low frequency during mapping after hearing test as it was a bit low. Musics On YouTube sound better now.  So in short, it only been a week for you but your brain is taking on far too much right now, it will eventually learn the noises and you will be able to leave your house but you will probably still be annoyed with certain noises. 

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It can be tough but you will adjust in time. I remember early after my implant I was gassing up my vehicle when I was assaulted by wind noise. I was a bit baffled as it wasn’t that windy out but that’s what I heard. I remember wondering at the time how I would ever handle wind if it was that bad. Crazy bad! I went in to the store to pay for the gas, the noise abated as soon as the door closed and I looked out the window to see a fire truck going past, lights flashing and obviously sirens going. So it wasn’t wind after all. Hadn’t heard a siren since I was a kid. Now I can hear and identify sirens from quite a distance. Still have the odd moment when I have to ask someone what I am hearing but I have come an amazingly long way just under two years.

I would imagine the training apps such as Angel Sounds and audiobooks and such would be a real benefit to you as well. Good luck!

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