Cochlear Implants

Posted by mwbucket @mwbucket, Jun 22, 2016

Considering a cochlear implant. Any info on type to get and/or any needed info to consider???

Your cochlear implant center can make sure you qualify under Medicare. Although I love my cochlear implant – I’ve had it for just under ten years – I agree with the experts who say you should continue with a hearing aid as long as you are benefiting from it. I qualify for a second c.i. but I am hearing very well with my hearing aid plus the first c.i. I won’t hesitate when it’s time but for now I think my hearing is as good as it can be. The newer hybrid cochlear implants are also great, in that they preserve high frequency hearing. If that’s your audiogram pattern you should look into that option.
I agree that age is not a factor.

Liked by capausz

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@katherinebouton

@tulip, @asklar02492, I'd like to hear from an audiologist on this. I think guessing at the words is actually encouraged — but not because it means you'll do better on the test and thus not be eligible for insurance coverage. The test shows the sounds you can and cannot hear — the various vowel and consonant sounds — and helps the audiologist make a more accurate assessment of your needs. As for the tone test, the tones are repeated and if you miss a tone one time but get it another it doesn't really mean anything because the audiologist can go back and test that same tone again — I think! Are there any audiologists reading this who can confirm or clarify?

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Guessing on the CI qualification tests is not encouraged, at least not the way it is done in the US. These tests are to find out what you actually understand, not how well you have learned to cope with your hearing loss. If a sentence is "The river was high because of the rain" and you heard "river, high, rain" that is 38% of the words. If you add in "The, because, of, the", that is now 89%, even though you just guessed at what those words were and did not really understand them. The tone test is not part of the actual CI qualifications in the US but it is used as a baseline to see if it is worth testing for CI's. The CI testing is different then the HA testing.

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@tulip @katherinebouton
Thanks for all the information. I have a lot to learn about how, why and when cochlear implants are considered necessary. This is probably because audiologists and physicians figure I'm at least a decade away from being a candidate, and because I don't ask enough questions. But It's really reassuring to catch a glimpse of my long term hearing prospects. It was sad and discouraging to see my father and grandmother age into complete deafness. I'm so grateful that the the technology has progressed so that I can imagine and hope that my situation will be better.

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what type to get should be determined by the type of loss you have, whether or not you have a CI or hearing aid in the other ear and need synchronized streaming,… your otologist/audiologist/surgeon should be able to explain the differences among the 3 top brands. one thing to keep in mind is if you should need an MRI at some point, up to what level tesla (unit of strength of magnetic field in MRI) your implant allows.

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My audiologist says I have what it takes to be a candidate for Cochlear implant. The stereotypes had me terrified. Thank you so much for posting your experiences, I am encouraged. I could sure use better hearing! I miss out on 80% even with my Resound 3D HAs and the myriad adjustments I make after the HAs have assessed my hearing environment.

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@jamienolson

Hello @mtnyankee! I absolutely think you should speak with a surgeon who specializes in cochlear implants.

Here is a story about a patient who also had a hard time hearing and communicating in different environments and did end up consulting with a surgeon and had a Cochlear Implant placed. I had the chance to meet with her and had a lovely talk about how the process changed her life. Please take a look- https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2018/04/27/cochlear-implant-allows-judith-collins-to-relish-her-life-again/

Also, you may be interested in this Q&A where Dr. Matthew Carlson, ENT surgeon at Mayo Clinic, discusses Cochlear Implants. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pion0v4JnRE

And then here is some information Mayo has available on the .org web page. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cochlear-implants/about/pac-20385021

Do you know of anyone that has had a Cochlear Implant, so you can talk with them about their experience?

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Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha! How funny! I started to watch the Q&A and am still laughing! Rolling on the floor laughing, really. There is no way to get captioning/subtitles. It's hilarious to me that here we are talking about cochlear implants, most of the audience being profoundly deaf or having profound difficulties understanding speech and these experts are talking way fast, not facing the camera and no subtitles. The irony tickled my funny bone.

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Hi @lizzy102, I'm just catching up with your message now. I'm shocked that closed captioning is not included in this Mayo Clinic Radio episode. it is dated from 2017, which may predate the closed captioning option on YouTube. Here is another video with Dr. Matthew Carlson, ENT surgeon at Mayo Clinic, talking about Cochlear Implants. This version INCLUDES closed captioning.

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@angus

I am in the process of having an implant. I have tubes now so they will take those out. Will be October before the implant. I have to wait a minimum of 6-8 weeks after the tubes are out.

I have an appt to see which implant i want. Cochlear or advance biotics. Also the over the ear or just the one piece thst goes where the magnet is.

I would welcome input and pros and cons on this

Thank you

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Both are great companies. For me next year, it will be advanced biotics- better for music

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I am in the process of having an implant. I have tubes now so they will take those out. Will be October before the implant. I have to wait a minimum of 6-8 weeks after the tubes are out.

I have an appt to see which implant i want. Cochlear or advance biotics. Also the over the ear or just the one piece thst goes where the magnet is.

I would welcome input and pros and cons on this

Thank you

Liked by bookysue

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@angus

I am in the process of having an implant. I have tubes now so they will take those out. Will be October before the implant. I have to wait a minimum of 6-8 weeks after the tubes are out.

I have an appt to see which implant i want. Cochlear or advance biotics. Also the over the ear or just the one piece thst goes where the magnet is.

I would welcome input and pros and cons on this

Thank you

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Hi @angus, you may have noticed that I moved your message asking about the pros and cons of Cochlear Implants to this existing discussion. Simply click VIEW & REPLY to read through past posts.

Since posting your questions, have you had any additional thoughts regarding your choices of Cochlear, advanced bionics, over the ear etc.?

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Hi everyone! I lost my hearing completely in July of 2017. I had been diagnosed 8 years before with Meniere's and had lost about 70% of the hearing in my right ear but my left ear was always fine. Well, in July of 2017 within a span of about 7 hours, they both went out. No hearing. Deaf. And what a blow to myself and my family. I had just turned 50 and didn't expect this at all. After verifying that my nerves were ok, I was approved for a cochlear implant (Med-el) and had the surgery in November of 2017. It was then activated in January 2018. For me, it has been a HUGE BLESSING. But it is not perfect. When I talk to someone one-on-one, everything is great. My speech comprehension is over 90% and I do quite well. But throw any variables in there (background noise, road noise in the car, restaurant setting, wind noise when outside, etc.) and it becomes more difficult to understand people. Without my implant, i would be profoundly deaf and would have had to learn ASL. Also, a cochlear implant does not take tinnitus away. I have terrible tinnitus in both ears. When I'm wearing the implant, it lessens the tinnitus significantly because my implant is picking up speech, noise, etc. But as soon as I take it off (to sleep at night, when I want a break, etc.), the tinnitus comes roaring back. At least that is what happens for me. I DON'T KNOW if that's typical. I know another woman who has two implants and NO tinnitus. So I'm not sure what the difference is. It has taken me quite some time to come to grips with this change in my life. When it first happened I just soldiered on. But I've had more feelings of sadness a year later when I realize what a profound loss it is. Good luck @angus on whatever you choose. — Stu

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I have profound hearing loss in my left ear and I wear a BiCros that sends the sound from my left side to my right ear. I was also told to only repeat the words that you understand. I found doing that very stressful although my word recognition dropped from my last audiogram. I find it difficult because I am so familiar with the words that I am asked to repeat. In my actual daily surroundings and hearing experiences I find that my word recognition is a lot lower than in the controlled Hearing booth. I am not a candidate yet for a CI because I have Medicare. All I want to do is to be able to hear!!! I can’t even say that sentence without crying its so upsetting.

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Hi Judymays. Medicaid is 5 points less than Medicare – see if you can dual eligibility – I will have that next month.
I am a candidate but music is more important than interacting than Muggles- that’s me —- and I also am an retired animal care- dogs/ cats – we “hear”each other well.
You can go back to your audiologist as much you need to make everything is right.

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@christinahaire

I have been following the Hearing Loss thread but feel I should share on this one. I had Cochlear Implant surgery just 2 weeks ago and I am thrilled. I could hear right away, the audiologist and my husband, and it has improved daily. I heard sleet on our glass roof the other day, and hear my little grandsons high voices. And it is supposed to continue to improve for months even year. My story before very similar to those on HL thread. Just about deaf for 3 years, and modest hearing for 4 yrs previous with HA in both ears. Could “hear” face to face one on one and the rest downhill. Continued to work as an interior designer but with difficulty, used email for the most part. Couldn’t talk on telephone hear TV and so on and so forth. I loved the silence when I could turn my HA off because all background noise eliminated. Was afraid I would miss that using CI but not so. I love turning it on and hearing! Background noise not an issue. My experience with Johns Hopkins in Maryland was wonderful, from surgeon to attendants to audiologist. It was a process to get to CI, knew so little about and knew no one with one so it took almost a year of research to make the decision. A long journey but so successful and happy now. A whole new life! And I should add HLAA helped me make the final decision, went to chapter (headquarters) in Bethesda, Md. last summer and met 2 that is 2 women with CI. A first for me. From that point the journey to CI surgery was on its way.

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I'm very happy that your CI has been so successful. I just joined Mayo Connect today…..want to learn more about my options to treat my hearing loss which happened suddenly 3 years age. At the point now where hearing aids do not help much but my docs have told me that hearing aids have to be completely useless before I qualify for a CI. Were you also told this? Profound hearing loss and also major balance problems have been a real life changer for me and I miss my old life so much. Thanks for listening. Judy

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Be sure to get tested at a cochlear implant center in your area. I know several people who were told they did not qualify for a cochlear implant by their audiologists and/or ENTs. I also encourage you to use the telecoils on your hearing aids with assistive technology. A lot of people give up on their hearing aids because they are inundated with noise they find difficult to deal with. Hearing Assistive Devices can be very helpful in noisy settings like restaurants, church coffee hour, bars, sports events, etc. I believe that the tests for speech discrimination are a key factor in determining candidacy for CIs. So if you're doing OK in the testing booth, you may not qualify. Of course that environment isn't 'real life' if you are a social person who enjoys people. That's where the ALDs may be helpful to you. I use both a CI and a HA, which is called 'bimodal'. Both technologies were working well together. However, prior to having the CI and the time it took for my brain to adjust, I was doing poorly with the HA. The brain's ability to relearn to hear is amazing. Good luck to you.

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