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Implant for single-sided deafness


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Hello - I am new to this forum.  I suffered sudden hearing loss from an ear infection while pregnant back in June 2019 at age 35.  I had steroids, injections, tried hyperbaric...nothing improved the loss.  I waited the recommended year to see if there would be any recovery, which there wasn’t and am not looking into an implant.  I have terrible tinnitus, hyperacusis, profound loss in the high frequencies and normal low frequency hearing.  A few questions i wanted to send out to this forum...

Did anyone have a doctor tell them that an implant would not help due to normal hearing in the other ear?  I had one say this as well as one say it would be beneficial.

Is it strange to have electronic hearing in one ear when the other is normal?  Is it noticeable for a long time - totally understand everyone’s experience is different, but I am quite nervous about this unknown.

Will an implant improve my ability to be in noisy environments?  This is completely intolerable at this point and definitely no way to live.

Did anyone have bad sensitivity to loud sounds and then have it improve post implant?

 

Thanks so much for any feedback on experiences.

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@Diane

welcome to HearPeers.  I am sorry about your sudden hearing loss.  @Kylie is single sided deaf with a cochlear implant.  Yesterday during our monthly virtual coffee chat she shared a great story.  Maybe she will repeat it here.  Wishing you the best!

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@Diane hello!

These are very similar to questions I was pondering before my own surgery.

I became deaf in one ear very suddenly at the age of 37. Also tinnitus. My other ear is excellent.

I saw an audiologist and ENT who both told me that a CI would be the ideal solution. I have now had it for 1 year and it is fabulous! Having a hearing side is very helpful, and in a brief time the brain clearly adapted to the mixed inputs and sorted it into one coherent sound. Earlier in the process it did sound electronic overall but that fades with time and rehab practise. Single sided hearing also means that practise is done in a particular way (to isolate the CI side) but that is merely logistical and there are a few threads where that is discussed. There is no cause for a doctor to tell you that single sided deafness is not a good reason for CI, there is so much evidence to the contrary all around the world. The nuances of your individual hearing loss is important though. Make sure you are getting advice from specialists who work with single sided deafness (like audiologists, ENTs, rather than just general practitioners.)

1 year in - I have great functional hearing, I score normal on some hearing tests! I can hear pretty well in busy environments though I don't have your extra sensitivity so I can't speak to that. But it also dulls the tinnitus so that I forget it's there. Most days I completely forget I have any hearing impairment because the world sounds normal in 90% of scenarios. I mostly remember when I take it off at night! I am glad every day and have no regrets.

There are quite a few pages here where people discuss single sided deafness so I recommend reading through them. Plus the whole internet! I read and read before I made my decision.

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@Kylie Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!

The doctor that told me I wouldn’t like the implant didn’t seem to have much experience with single-sided deafness....the other surgeon and audiologist from Columbia definitely did, so I just wanted to throw that question out there on this forum.  

Which implant/processor do you have?  I am reading through all the different information on the different types trying to figure out what would be best for me... its a bit overwhelming. 

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I have the sonnet 1. Don't know about the inside bit.

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@Kylie

chances are you have either the internal Synchrony or internal Synchrony 2.

Med-El has been using Synchrony/Synchrony 2 in most regions for awhile.  
 

@Diane Are you in the NYC region?  My CI center is in NYC.

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@Mary Beth Yes, I am in NYC region.  I was evaluated at Columbia and met with a surgeon/audiologist there.  What center do you use?  

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@Diane

I go to New York Eye & Ear Institute of Mount Sinai (NYEE).  Love them!

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@Mary Beth Thanks for the info...i think I’ll reach out for a second/third/fourth (ugh) opinion.  Who was your surgeon and audiologist there?

 

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@Diane

I will send you a HearPeers mail message. In a few moments check the top near the envelope icon.

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Diane,

I am  sorry for your hearing loss and all that follows.

i also had sudden hearing loss, and like you I retained some hearing in lower frequencies.  When I got CI, I did in fact lose that remaining hearing on the left.

i still have my nagging tinnitus and the Hyperacusis, 5 months after activation. 
I wear my CI everyday, and I feel better with it than without it, but because of tinnitus I’m really never comfortable.

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Posted (edited)

Hi @Diane

I had recruitment for several years. I would go to work and other places and the central AC would sound extremely loud. When I got my CI, the recruitment disappeared. All the places I frequented before the CI were now so quiet now that I had the CI. 

I'm wondering whether the same thing could happen with hyperacusis. But given @Lori m experience, there are no guarantees that the hyperacusis will disappear. Hopefully others who had hyperacusis will chime in. 

I wish you well with your hearing journey. Keep us posted. 

Edited by Jewel
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@Jewel @Lori m

Thank you both for sharing your experiences.

Do you mind sharing what electrode type length and processors you use?  
 

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@Diane

I have Synchrony Pin Flex 28 and use Sonnet and Rondo2 on the same ear. 

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@Jewel

do you notice a difference in sound quality between the sonnet and rondo2? Which do u prefer?

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@Diane

Yes there is a marked difference for me. I prefer Rondo2 and when I was tested with both, I scored higher with Rondo2. However, in very noisy environments I prefer Sonnet. The sound settings possible with Sonnet are different from Rondo2. Rondo2 only offers omnidirectional mic settings whereas Sonnet offers more mic options. 

However since Rondo3 has two mics and Rondo2 has two I'm expecting the sound from Rondo3 to be different from Rondo2.

I also prefer Rondo2 now that we have to wear masks. 

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