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my name is Heather and i have had hearing loss since i was three. Worn bilateral hearing aids since then and lost my hearing completely in left ear in september of last year.  got ci in december and am having hard time adjusting. i have many questions and would like to know if what i am feeling is normal. i have hearing aid in right ear and cause of my job i have to wear it along with the implant cause i still cant understand speech. is this normal? are the sounds suppose to be still mechanical like? sounds are so different than what i hear with my right ear. i have not been able to devote time to just wearing the implant cause i work 44 to 58 hours a week. should i be taking time off to devote to this? at this point i am regreting getting this implant. can anyone give me some feedback?

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Hello Heather,


I do not have the implants yet as I'm schedule to have surgery on June 4th. I will try my best to help you from what I've learn from researching and asking questions.


First, have you see the movie, Hear and Now? An adult woman was documenting her parents having implants at the same time. Dad was able to understand speech and sounds in few weeks. Mom was frustrated and it took her almost over a year to finally enjoy sounds and understanding speech. It's different for each person. I was reading some reviews on Hearpeers (and Cochlear too) and some people were able to understand speech 20 minutes after activation, some a day, some a weeks, and few a year. I have not seen any negative report (like regretting getting implant) yet.


Have you done mapping recently? Did you tell your audi your situation recently? You might need to check with them again. By now you shouldn't be able to hear the mechanical sound (but I could be wrong). Working a lot of hours can add stress and not giving you a chance to relax and focus on the sounds. If you have one day off a week that would be the best time to listen/focus for sounds and "speech thearpy" with your family if they are willing to help you out. My goal is to have speech thearpy with my family at least one hr each night. Hope that help you out.

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Hi Heather, I had my deaf ear implanted 10wks ago, and was activated 6wks ago. Like you, I work 10+ hers a day. I work construction, and for safety run bimodal, as it helps with sound localization. My HA ear is at 90db loss. I find the time delay on the HA over the CI confuses the sound initially, and my hearing was worse! So I went CI only for two weeks to force my brain to listen to the CI sound. This, also with some volume increase once I had got used to loudness disparity with HA use, helped me get better speech understanding with my CI. I'm still learning with TV, radio and the phone, but not there yet. Reducing low frequency and increased high frequency at my 1 month mapping has helped take some ' Darth Vader' out of the CI speech. stick to the 3P's,

I was advised to split use 50/50 bimodal/ CI only. Hope this helps you keep faith, because my motivation is that due to my natural hearing failing, I'm going g to master my CI, and make the most of life!


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You ABSOLUTELY need to devote significant time to training your brain to attend to the new input, and that means going completely without the hearing aid; there is no other way to do it.

If you don't force the brain to 'attend' to the new input, it will naturally choose to 'attend' to the familiar, the known.


You have unrealistic expectations if you think simply having the surgery is all there is to it.  The surgery merely gives you the opportunity to train the auditory nerve and brain to attend to, and eventually understand, this completely new input.

You are short-changing yourself by not putting in the time and work.  By 'work' I mean doing things like listening to audio books and reading along at the same time; listen to running water with eyes open, with eyes closed and tell yourself, "this is what running water sounds like."  Do that with paper, silverware, wind in the trees, birds, musical instruments, etc.  Talk to people, interact - all with ONLY the CI in.


I apologize for sounding harsh, but I think this subject is important.  Do the work; it is so worth it!

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  • HearPeers Heroes

Lisa is absolutely right. Over the last year I have deliberately put myself in situations that I would normally avoid. It can be frustrating but in the end the hard work pays off. Ask questions. If you don't know what something is that you are hearing, ask. I listen to audio books, turn the tv on, go to the mall, listen to the sounds outside. I have a friend who does hearing lessons with me. We have lists of words, vegetables, fruit, clothing, furniture, different rooms in the house, numbers. We sit for an hour or so three times a week and she puts a piece of paper in front of her so I can't read her lips. You will be amazed at how much this helps. I went to my niece's dance recital this week and could hear the music. The words, not so much. They sounded like a 45 rpm record playing at 33rpms! It takes time and the 3 Ps - practice, patience and perseverance. It is a journey, not a hop, skip and jump and you are there. There are ups and downs and lots of WOW moments. Keep us informed.

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Heather, If you haven't already done so, search the internet for apps to help with AVT, auditory-verbal-therapy. If at all possible go to an AVT certified therapist.  Remember your brain will not work to use the CI unless you force it to! It will want to use the HA side, perhaps to exclude the CI.  As Lisa and Sandy have stated, there is work to be done to get your brain to accept the new stimulus from your CI.  Going without the HA when at home is a great start.  Keep a notebook so you can share your work with your audiologist.


I was blessed with a therapist who was very concerned with my lack of progress as a bimodal user. After 5 months I went bilateral and haven't looked back.


It is normal to get discouraged and frustrated but the rewards are well worth the effort.  Best wishes.

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