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Which CI?


bob6328
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Hello.  I am new to this forum.  I have had mild bilateral hearing loss since 2011.  In January 2014, I had total sudden hearing loss in my right ear.  As of May, I have regained some hearing in the low frequencies but am still considered profoundly deaf in the right ear.  I have been told that I am a candidate for a CI because a BAHA would not be effective because of the mild hearing loss in my left ear.  I would like to know if anyone has been implanted that has single sided deafness and what does the electronic and acoustic hearing combination sound like?  Also I have a choice of all 3 manufacturers.  I have narrowed it down to AB and Medel.  Could you tell me what made you choose Medel over the others?

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Hi Bob,

I don't have single sided deafness but did use one CI and one BTE HA for about a year and found the combination good but eventually the CI ear became my MUCH-preferred ear and this past May I ended up having the other ear done too.  So, now I use two CI's.

I chose MedEl over AB due to several factors: all CI's do a good job of getting the high frequencies but MedEl's longer electrode array gives better chance of also getting more low frequency too.  Other reasons included 5 year (vs 3 yr) warranty on the external processors, ability to have MRI's without having implant magnet surgically removed first, fewer problems with processors (a lot of folks seem to complain about the Naida's 'cutting out'), the only CI company to have an all-in-one-piece processor so you can have nothing on the ear if you choose to use the Rondo and lastly, my surgeon had previously stopped implanting ABs in any of his patients due to recall problems years ago and was so happy with MedEl that he never resumed doing ABs even after they corrected the issues.

 

I've been thrilled with my experiences with MedEl and have NO regrets whatsoever.  My only complaint about MedEl is the ungawdly awful SLOWNESS of this user forum.  AB has a much more dynamic user forum site and many very dedicated AB users are there often.  I post there for comraderie but I am SO glad I have MedEl CI's.

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Lisa,

 

Thank you for the reply.  I go to my surgeon on July 10th.  I will see which one he recommends and why.  I know Weill Cornell in NY does more AB, but I think Medel is number 2.  Thanks again.

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Hi Bob,  I do know of someone who received a MedEl implant for single sided deafness and he had his surgery done at NYU.  He seems to be doing quite well. So if you feel that you might qualify for that, you could contact him, Art Kupferman.  The combo processor from MedEl, CI and HA is currently in clinical tests in the US and you can find out more information here: http://www.medel.com/products-eas/

 

I, too, was offered all 3 brands and choose MedEl due to its regulatory history with the FDA, i.e., no recalls, commitment to technology and R&D, complete cochlear coverage. atraumatic insertion of the electrode array with complete cochlear coverage and its ability to help enjoy music through various software overlays.  I have been bilateral for over 4 years and don't regret one moment of this journey.

 

Quite simply, MedEl gave me back the gift of hearing!

 

Best wishes for your appointment on the 10th.

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Hi  everyone!

 

I was implanted a few weeks ago and get "activated" on Tuesday.  I'm excited and scared.  I have to tell you how much this forum has helped me and I have learned so much.   Lisa and John, I enjoy your posts.  I have so much to learn.

 

Bob, it is a hard decision but I agree with Lisa.  A lot of my "friends" have AB.  However, so far I am happy with my decision.  Although, initially it is a hard one to make.

 

Good luck to you.

 

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Hello Bob,

 

I will try my best to help you out. I have done a lot of researches on 3 companies for a little over 3 years. My hearing using H.A. has not improve since I got one of the most powerful HA (Phonak Naida V UP) in the market 5 years ago. Last month my surgeon changed my implant from Cochlear to MED EL (per request by my neuologist). I asked many questions the past couple weeks on Hearpeers and with my audiologist. Here is one of the email that I like to share with you:

"Hi Joe,

I did hear that Dr. Haynes recommended MED-EL, and I think that is a wise choice if you will be needing MRIs in the future.  MED-EL is the only implant company that’s FDA approved for an MRI without having to surgically go in and remove the magnet.  There are certainly other pros to MED-EL.  For example they have the best warranty.  Everything comes with a 5 year warranty including the rechargeable batteries, which is a pretty nice deal.  You will also get 2 processors (Opus 2 and Rondo), which means if something were to happen to your primary processor you would have a back-up to use while waiting for the replacement.  The MED-EL electrodes are very well designed, and I have many MED-EL patients who perform very well with their device.  The processors will come with a Bluetooth neckloop that uses the telecoil in the processor to stream music or whatever from your phone.  I do not have a comparison chart, but those are the main differences.  I do not notice any differences in performance between patients using the Cochlear device versus the MED-EL.  Cochlear claims that having dual microphones is helpful in noise (i.e., the back microphone can be turned off if you change the processor to a “noise” program).  Noise is hard for everyone though, and I don’t see that Cochlear patients do any better in noise than MED-EL patients.  The MED-EL electrode is designed to cover the entire length of the cochlea, which is good for patients who have significant hearing loss across all frequencies, like you do.  But again, I don’t see any differences between the companies in this regard.

I’m sure it’s very nerve-racking to think you were going with one company and then to be switched to another, but I can assure you that MED-EL devices are very good and you will do just as well with MED-EL as you would do with Cochlear.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Adrian"


That email helps me a lot with decision making plus couple peoples in the Hearpeers too. I've gotten more and more comfortable as I studied more about MED EL.  As stated in the email my audi has not noticed any different in each companies it's just depends on the person. I read somewhere that some people were able to pick up higher pitches with MED EL than other 2 companies.

 

I had Simultaneous Cochlear Implant surgery (both ears) on June 4th and went home that same day. When my wife and I left the hospital we went to our church to pick up our daughter from VBS. I was able to walk with some support from my wife. The next day I had little dizziness but I was able to walk. I stopped taking the pain med 3-4 days after the surgery. I didn't like the pain med so I took Tylenol Extra Strength. I had a roaring tinnitus the second day after my activation on May 18th. It was so loud that it sounded like many airplanes trying to land. After a while either I am getting use to the roaring sounds or it's getting better. I am hoping, like many CI users, that when I put on the processors that it will "mask" the roaring tinnitus. Everyday I've been posting on FB my Hearing Journey. If you like I can send a copy to you in the email? I do not for one second request my decision of getting Cochlear Implant. I am loving it each day as I learn more sounds and understanding words!

 

Joe

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Joe,

 

Thank you for all of the info.  I am leaning toward Medel.  Now my next big decision will be whether to wait for the new Syncrony implant and Sonnet processor or go for the current implant.

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Bob,

 

I asked my Audi the same question and this is her respond:

 

"Hi Joe,

In looking at the website, it looks like Synchrony is the name of the new internal device, and Sonnet is the name of the new processor.  It looks like the only difference between your internals and the new one is that with the new one you can have up to a 3.0 Tesla MRI.  With your implants, you can have up to 1.5, which is standard for MRIs anyway.  Everything else looks to be the same.  When you come for your activation this afternoon, we will go ahead and activate the Rondo processors, but we will hold on to the Opus 2 processors and hopefully they will allow us to exchange them for the Sonnet.  Most of the new features, like the wireless capability and automatic sound management are contained in the processor, so it will be great if they will let you exchange it.  We still haven’t heard any word directly from MED-EL regarding this release.

 

See you this afternoon,

 

Adrian"

 

I'm wearing Rondo for now while I'm waiting for FDA to approve Sonnet in US. Hope that helps.

 

Joe

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Thank you Joe.  I called Medel USA last week but they had no information on the implant or processor.  The internet has more info than they do.  I hope that "Corporate" gets on the ball and gives them some detailed information to pass on to prospective recipients.

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Bob, The FDA has extremely stringent regulations regarding release of information regarding any kind of DME, durable medical equipment such as CIs.  Until the FDA approves the new implants and processor family for use in the United States no information can be released by MedEl.  My opinion is that the FDA does not want any "pre-selling" of any device before approval.  I feel your frustration and totally understand your desire and thirst for more information but there's is nothing any of us can do!

 

John

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Good point, John,  MedEl is an ethical company conducting business in compliance with USA law.

Since the new implant/processor is approved in Europe we can get accurate info from European sources.

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