Cochlear Implants: How well do they work at an older age?

Posted by Julie Chitwood @billchitwood, Sep 7, 2021

Looks like I might be a candidate for a cochlear implant. I'm 81 and wondering how well people have done with the implant at an older age. Is it easier to adjust to hearing as having had good hearing for most of my life? Any suggestions/information appreciated.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Hearing Loss group.

@billchitwood

If this is okay to post I would like to share a Blog that I wrote which was just posted by AB. The picture just shows a part of our extended tribe, all who are determined to help me 'learn' to hear them.
https://www.advancedbionics.com/com/en/home/contact-us/blog/articles/youre-never-too-old-to-reclaim-your-hearing-chitwood.html

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Thank you for your story. My CI gets turned on today. I am nervous yet excited about it. Your blog is very helpful.

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@arieswoman

Thank you for your story. My CI gets turned on today. I am nervous yet excited about it. Your blog is very helpful.

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Best of success to you. Lots of work ahead but so worth it! I'm constantly surprised at what new things I am hearing – and how clearer things can seem. One thing I did learn was that if I was tired it was harder to concentrate. Of course that could also be due to being 81. Looking forward to hearing (don't you love a pun!) how you are doing.

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@arieswoman

Thank you for your story. My CI gets turned on today. I am nervous yet excited about it. Your blog is very helpful.

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@arieswoman We look forward to hearing your story as your brain learns to adjust to cochlear implant hearing. Everyone is different. Wishing you the very best experience! The first thing I heard was a large bird in a tree by our driveway when I got out of the car after traveling from the implant center. To be honest, it alarmed me! 🙂 I had no idea what that noise was. I had not heard birds for years. Learning to adjust to such sounds has been most amazing.

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@arieswoman

Thank you for your story. My CI gets turned on today. I am nervous yet excited about it. Your blog is very helpful.

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@arieswoman I am interested in hearing your story. Keep us posted.
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi

@arieswoman I am interested in hearing your story. Keep us posted.
Tony in Michigan

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I had my CI turned on this morning. I am hearing sounds I had forgotten about. Silverware clanking when being put away. A chair being moved. Many sounds I just didn’t hear. Now comes the work. I got all this equipment and am just getting started. They got my app set up also. I was told to read aloud to myself. I have never like to read aloud. I realize it will take time and work on my part. More later….stay tuned!

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@arieswoman

I had my CI turned on this morning. I am hearing sounds I had forgotten about. Silverware clanking when being put away. A chair being moved. Many sounds I just didn’t hear. Now comes the work. I got all this equipment and am just getting started. They got my app set up also. I was told to read aloud to myself. I have never like to read aloud. I realize it will take time and work on my part. More later….stay tuned!

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Congratulations, Arieswoman.
What about reading plays and acting the parts? Would that make reading aloud more fun? Or singing as you unload the dishwasher?

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For those of you who are veteran CI can I ask a question? My hair air drys after my morning shower. Do I have to wait for it to be dry befrore putting on my device? I know they are not supposed to get wet. I forgot to ask this yesterday! TIA.

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@arieswoman

I had my CI turned on this morning. I am hearing sounds I had forgotten about. Silverware clanking when being put away. A chair being moved. Many sounds I just didn’t hear. Now comes the work. I got all this equipment and am just getting started. They got my app set up also. I was told to read aloud to myself. I have never like to read aloud. I realize it will take time and work on my part. More later….stay tuned!

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I used my computer for ebooks – would read as well as have the audio on (Amazon has a ton of free ebooks). My problem was I'm a very fast reader and slowing down for the audio drives me nuts. Also husband has the TV on from the time he gets up until bedtime – which also helps. Any kind of noise is good. I had to track down a few, like the ice maker plopping ice – I thought the house was coming down. I also discovered our kitty, Lady Gray, actually made noise when she meowed.

Sometimes I think I'm not getting very far and then realize I'm now taking for granted hearing sounds I couldn't hear before. Like TV movies, which I had given up on. And music.

I use my computer and Iphone a lot for practice. And my family lol.

It will be an amazing journey for you. And it is fun to share.

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Hi,
I went completely deaf I overnight due to an antibiotic. I can tell you being on the natural hearing side and the cochlear hearing side that it is different but not in a bad way.When I first was " on the air" for about 20 hrs everything and everyone sounded like Minnie mouse had inhaled helium. I can tell you that things will eventually sound much better pretty fast. It also depends on the implant you choose,I have med-El. I would definitely recommend getting the implant just be patient. I did learn a trick I was having a problem hearing children,higher tone. I watched about 15 hrs in total watching SPONGEBOB SquarePants LOL. ITS NOT EXACTLY LIKE NATURAL HEARING BUT YOU CAN HEAR WHICH IS JUST GREAT. In my opinion & I have had this for 22 years, GO FOR IT! You will as time goes on HEAR inflections in peoples voices and the surgery is much shorter. I was the 1st to get the med- el so there were more suites in the OR than Drs lol. The surgery was about 10 hrs ,now your in and out in one day. I would highly recommend It. This pic is of me now.Glod Luck on this fabulous new journey I do hope you decide to get one.Feel free to contact me.🙏,

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@arieswoman

For those of you who are veteran CI can I ask a question? My hair air drys after my morning shower. Do I have to wait for it to be dry befrore putting on my device? I know they are not supposed to get wet. I forgot to ask this yesterday! TIA.

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I let my hair dry completely before putting on my hearing aid and/or CI processor.

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@julieo4

I let my hair dry completely before putting on my hearing aid and/or CI processor.

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Thanks. I have been doing that just in case.

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@sueatt

Hi,
I went completely deaf I overnight due to an antibiotic. I can tell you being on the natural hearing side and the cochlear hearing side that it is different but not in a bad way.When I first was " on the air" for about 20 hrs everything and everyone sounded like Minnie mouse had inhaled helium. I can tell you that things will eventually sound much better pretty fast. It also depends on the implant you choose,I have med-El. I would definitely recommend getting the implant just be patient. I did learn a trick I was having a problem hearing children,higher tone. I watched about 15 hrs in total watching SPONGEBOB SquarePants LOL. ITS NOT EXACTLY LIKE NATURAL HEARING BUT YOU CAN HEAR WHICH IS JUST GREAT. In my opinion & I have had this for 22 years, GO FOR IT! You will as time goes on HEAR inflections in peoples voices and the surgery is much shorter. I was the 1st to get the med- el so there were more suites in the OR than Drs lol. The surgery was about 10 hrs ,now your in and out in one day. I would highly recommend It. This pic is of me now.Glod Luck on this fabulous new journey I do hope you decide to get one.Feel free to contact me.🙏,

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Hi Sue, I hope you’ll upload your picture to your profile as well. I love that so many members are sharing their personal experiences with Cochlear implants. @billchitwood Julie, got something great started here.

Sue, what tip would you offer someone who is about to have their implant turned on?

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