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Hello All,

This summer I’ll be getting a CI for my SSD...after 24 years! I’m both excited and scared. Have I been deaf in that ear too long? The research is mixed. Some places won’t do it if the unaided deafness was greater than 10 years. Will I be able to understand speech in that ear? 

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@Campnorthstar72

The Research sure does paint a poor picture BUT my right side was completely deaf following a surgery to treat Ménière’s disease for 24 years!  It started understanding speech a few hours after activation.  It required dedicated aural rehab daily but it became an awesome hearing ear !  I hope you are as fortunate. 
 

Check out our topics in REHAB.

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Mary Beth,

Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. Fingers Crossed.

I work in education and have several months off following my implantation...so I plan to double down on the rehab. 🙂

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Great plan!  Keep us posted!

@Campnorthstar72

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Just to add my 2 cents, I've been single-sided deaf (left ear) for as long as I can remember, so easily +35yrs (I may have been able to hear in that ear when I was younger, but I'm not entirely certain and the problem was first diagnosed in early elementary school). I recently had CI surgery in August 2019 and was activated Sept 1st, so I've now been using a CI in my left ear for about 6 months. In the beginning things were very difficult to understand. I heard "sound", but conversation was largely like 'morse code' to me and I couldn't much distinguish a constant noise like running water from an array of other sounds. But ... things have gradually improved... 

I can now hold my own using only my left (CI) ear in conversation and particularly anywhere that I have even modest visual cues (lips, facial expressions, context of some sort). The phone is still quite difficult in that ear and I wouldn't attempt to take a phone call in that ear by itself, but I do try to listen to podcasts and the like exclusively in that ear and things are getting better. I've been streaming Audible books (with the accompanying text) to my CI and I can hear the reader/speakers very clearly and find my place even if I lose the text by just listening to the words. And in general voices (of all kinds) no longer sound robotic or mechanical, I clearly hear language, accents, stylistic differences etc (sometimes I even learn how a word is pronounced by listening to it in that ear .. yeah, crazy, right?).

So while it's not perfect by a long shot and I still need a lot of work on that ear, I see vast potential on the cusp. So to try to keep a long story short, in my opinion everyone has a slightly different experience with these devices, but I'd like to believe that if I can make the progress that I've made in my left ear after such an extensive period of dormancy (perhaps since birth?), that anyone with any degree of hearing loss over any period of time can benefit tremendously with the proper mindset and effort applied. It will take work, don't get me wrong, and it's very likely you will not understand a thing in the beginning (personally I'm still uncertain if it will ever be anywhere as good as my right "good" ear in terms of comprehension), but the fact that I now sometimes prefer that side in conversation is frankly amazing to me. So best of luck @Campnorthstar72!         

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@JosephG

Awesome!

 

Which processor are you using?

This journey really shows us the power of our brain’s neuroplasticity!  

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Hello guys, 

I'm SSD on my left ear since birth and I've never tried HA because my right ear hears pretty well. But anyway have some difficulties in a conversation, I often don't hear what people say, when normally others do. Now I'm hesitating to get a CI for me. I've got an interview today and doctor frightened me that almost everybody who has implanted this device, having a 'sleeping nerve' for a long time, usually don't get any reasonable recovery on a treated ear. They can even hardly distinguish some basic sounds. I'm so excited with your experience, but I was also looking for an official statistics and I couldn't find it anywhere. I also think that it might depend on the apparatus itself. What kind of device do you have? 

Best wishes, 

Vasilii

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@Vasilii I was ssd for 8+ and got a synchrony2 implant and use a sonnet2 and rondo2. I "feel" that having one good ish ear is a huge advantage in the rehab process... I went through the clicks and whistles, robotic sounds and now am starting to adjust. At times it is very natural, others it seems a little off. At this point if I go out of my way to isolate the good ish ear and depend solely on the implant there is clearly a degraded quality, but put them together and I am way better off. For me the implant was a great choice.

To say it another way... To me, hearing is additive in nature so anything I get out of the implanted side enhances my awareness and understanding. 

When I looked, the available studies are difficult for me to place myself within the data as the field of contributing possibilities is too great... A lot of things could impact implant "success"... the reasons people have hearing loss, time of that loss to the time they are implanted, the type of implantation, tech of the implant (The tech is only a few decades old and rapidly changing) , how far in the cochlea the device is inserted, number of implanted device contacts, speed of the processors, stimulation strategies, patient persistence with using the device, residual hearing in other ear or a bilateral implant, age when hearing loss occurred (were they lingual appeared to be an important milestone), the quality and ability of surgeon and audiologist, health history…. They went on and on. Most of the studies were only including 7 to 20 participants with ranging medical histories. The published ones were in my opinion old, 2002 to 2010. Surgical techniques and devices have significantly changed in 15 years.  I found that there are things that are commonly indicated by (trustworthy to me) sources as being characteristic of "successful" patients: realistic expectations and persistence in using the device. Surprisingly enough I did find indication that age of the patient may have little impact on "success."  If you do find a study that you feel you fit within the data pool and well defines success then share it with me as I'm still interested in knowing if I'm an outlier or in the middle of the bell curve. 

I was for some reason not hesitant at all. It was a running leap from the high dive platform... I was however nervous and overwhelmed at times. My personal thought process was...

  • Is my bad ear 100% full frequency range non functional? Could there still be some nerve activity???
  • Is the reason I am deaf in one ear a good candidate for successful implanting? 
  • What happens if I get very little or nothing out of the implant process? (My answer was I'll just wear fridge magnets as a party trick...)
  • Is there a high risk to me having the implant done?
  • Is the implant process likely to be an undue burden to me or my loved ones? Do I have their support?
  • Am I willing to persist with using the device as they indicate it will be months or longer for the full benefits to be realized?

You could make your own list, let it sit for a while and answer them as honestly as you can. Then ask your Dr. opinion on the relevant questions... 

I was told the same things... I believe my Dr. wanted me to make informed decisions with as much clinical information as they could provide, not just to freak me out. It was easy to become overwhelmed with information. Looking back at the process so far, I agree with everyone else... Your results will be unique to you, and you have to be your own advocate when making medical decisions.  Continue your own research until you are satisficed you beat it with a stick.

Dan 

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