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Hello everyone, I'm Matt, I just turned 40, and I have a progressive hearing loss of currently unknown cause. I've had plenty of head injuries and noise exposure over the years, so maybe it's just caught up with me, but I don't really know. I have worn hearing aids since January, and recently graduated into a range where I may be a potential CI candidate. In serving the progressive loss, I just had an MRI, which was also I understand setup to provide info for future implantation. I next have CI candidacy hearing testing scheduled for 3 June at the behest of my ENT. My hearing aid audiologist thinks that CIs are well down the line for me, if ever, so I am not exactly sure what to think. My ENT on the other hand spent probably half of the last visit talking to me about CIs unprompted.

I promised my wife that I would do whatever was necessary to be able to function and so I see CIs as a means to that end, if I'm deemed a candidate. She's a little younger than me, has perfect hearing of which I am occasionally envious, and we've got an unborn son due in November, our first. We also have a cat and an Australian Cattle Dog to keep us busy.

I'm following along here, as well as on a few other forums. Thanks for having me.

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Hi @phobos512

Welcome to HearPeers!

I also had progressive hearing loss.  I received my cochlear implants 5 years ago and they have been life changing.  Wishing you the best on your journey.

Feel free to ask us any questions you may have.  Which CI center are you going to?  I go to New York Eye and Ear in NYC.

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Thanks! My ENT (and my audi for that matter) is in McLean, VA. I am not entirely sure where they do the surgeries yet.

You know I meant to ask in my first post; this forum on my phone takes over my Bluetooth but I can't hear any sound through my hearing aids when it does that. Is there something going on? I don't have another device with Bluetooth.

 

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@phobos512

I do not experience that with this forum.  I can use  BT neckloop and listen to an audiobook while checking this forum without a problem.

 

hmm let’s tag @MED-EL Moderator 

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Hi @phobos512

thanks for your question. We have never heard of this issue before, so unfortunately I don't know what the reason could be. 

I'd recommend to check the app settings on your phone again or have someone look into them. 

 

Moreover, if you have any further questions about MED-EL cochlear implants or the candidacy process, we'd be happy to get you in touch with your local MED-EL representative. 

Best regards from MED-EL HQ in Austria, 

Verena 

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So I had my audiometric testing yesterday and a review of my MRI and I was determined to be a bilateral candidate. Cochlear and Med-El are the two options that my folks work with, Cochlear being the primary. No experience with AB they said. One thing they told me was they had one patient who's actually getting her Med-El implant removed and switching to Cochlear due to the Cochlear product being physically thinner? Thought that was odd. Anyway...

Going forward with insurance pre-certification now. Have a little bit of time I guess to decide what specifically I want. Both ears are pretty much the same; probably will go with my right to start (while I scored 0.5% better in the right I still feel like I get all the audio from the left).

I'm excited, and a little scared. I scheduled also a vaccine for meningitis for tomorrow to get that rolling.

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@phobos512

Congratulations!  This is an exciting time for you.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

 

 

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I think I should've come back sooner but there's been so much going on at home and at the virtual office I just haven't had much opportunity.

I was speaking with my ENT over the weekend on e-mail about trying to make this choice between companies. I mentioned up above that they have experience with primarily Cochlear but also Med-El. Med-El has been appealing to me due to the complete cochlear coverage concept. I brought this up, and how in Cochlear's marketing information they speak to how this can actually cause issues for folks, and it felt reading this like a direct response to Med-El's marketing info. My ENT linked me a study that showed at least in the pre-lingually deaf (i.e. not me) no significant performance deltas when it came to electrode length which I thought was interesting but also weird. We also talked some about preferred surgical techniques. From my perspective, I just want to ensure the best possible performance. I know ultimately it's up to me to do the rehab, but from a mechanical/hardware standpoint I want to get the best, and I can't wrap my head around how to come to that conclusion.

My hearing aid audiologist (prior to the e-mail conversations above) suggested I get a 2nd opinion from a different cochlear implant surgeon so that's happening this coming Monday. I'm not entirely sure of the point, but my wife said it would be a good idea as well, so I'm going along with it.

Questions wise, I guess the other thing I'm wondering about is how bimodality works with Med-El given that there's no direct link to any manufacturer's hearing aid possible at this stage? My hearing aid audiologist also is helping me switch from Phonak to Resound (the Phonaks I have wouldn't be compatible with an AB device, but the Resounds would be compatible with Cochlear obviously, and also Med-El of course, while also hopefully helping me to hear better in the interim since these'll be superpower aids).

I'm not sure I actually asked a question so to sum-up... (1) How do I make that decision? What's the data that goes into it? Or am I just throwing darts at some cardboard on the wall? and (2) How does being bimodal work with a Med-El CI? It's only going to be short term but I still want to ensure the best possible experience.

Thanks!

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@phobos512

Here is a link to bimodal info with Med-El implants:

https://blog.medel.pro/bimodal-hearing-cochlear-implant/
 

I chose Med-El due to the electrode array options and I love how I hear.  I can only speak of my personal experience.  Here is a link to why I chose Med-El and how my CI journey started in case you are interested.  Wishing you the very best!

 

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@Mary Beth Thanks for the bimodal link. I actually saw the video you linked in a different thread from 2017 that had popped back up due to folks revisiting. Thank you so much for making that video. It's really great to get that perspective.

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@phobos512

When you make your brand choice, you will enjoy learning about the processors.  So fascinating.  

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@Mary Beth in that gap period between your first and second implants were you bimodal or did you just rely on the CI?

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@phobos512

bimodal

Med-El CIs work with any hearing aid.  We can use whichever HA is best for the HA ear.

Then we use third party tech to deliver streamed audio to both sides..... Artone 3 MAX BT neckloop, Roger System, BOSE QC35 around the ear headphones, etc.

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