Cochlear Implants: How well do they work at an older age?
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.
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Thank you.It's really frustrating. In Wisconsin we have over 900 loop installations. There are also many venues that use FM or IR systems. Those systems also work with telecoils but require the use of a receiver and a neckloop, which those venues are required to provide.
HLAA Wisconsin has been advocating for a mandate that would require people who sell hearing aids to disclose, educate and demonstrate telecoils to people who purchase hearing aids from them. We have not been able to get such legislation passed. A few other states have managed to get this passed, so we will keep trying. The audiology profession fights this. They don't want to be told what to do. It just doesn't make sense.
The reality: Marketing denial and shame by the hearing industry by telling people that their hearing aids should be so small that no one knows they are being worn, means they promote the tiniest hearing aids. Those tiny aids don't have room for telcoils even though t-coils take up a very tiny bit of space within them. We all need to let the industry know that when we pay thousands of dollars for the hearing aids they manufacture and sell like consumer products, we want to be able to connect to hearing and life as best we possibly can.
Wisconsin is such a powerful leader in loop installations! We're working really hard on it here in Eugene, Oregon, too, and are making good headway. We are increasing the numbers of installations, but more importantly, educating consumers about the benefits of telecoils, and pressing audiologists to encourage their patients to choose hearing aids with telecoils. You wouldn't knowingly buy a car without air conditioning, and you shouldn't knowingly buy hearing aids without telecoils.
You are right on the money! Congrats to Oregon for their work in this area. Yes, Wisconsin is a leader, but that is because HLAA has been active in Wisconsin since 1984, when the organization was still called Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH). We built our first hearing loop out of Radio Shack parts and used it for chapter meetings for years. We spent decades educating people and begging the hearing healthcare industry to buy into this technology. We still have trouble getting audiologists on board.
It's so upsetting to have new people attend our looped chapter meetings, only to discover their new $6000 hearing aids don't have telecoils. Further, they don't have a clue what telecoils even are. We keep a few receivers available so they can take off those expensive hearing aids and don Radio Shack headphones that plug into the receivers. People who sell hearing aids should be explaining this to their patients. At the very least those who buy hearing aids should know what they are trading off if they choose not to have them.
I agree !!!
Telecoils can connect you to any audio device that has an input jack. You have to have a product called a neckloop to plug in to those devices unless you're in a place that has installed a room sized hearing loop. In that case, you simply turn on the telecoils and sound comes direct to your hearing aids as it bypasses all the extraneous noise in the room. It's like having binoculars for your ears. Same when using a neckloop (They cost about $50 and well worth it, less on Amazon.) I can sit in an NFL stadium, watch the game and listen to the broadcast on a small portable radio with my telecoils. I use that example because it's obviously a very noisy setting.
It's a travesty that the people who sell hearing aids don't educate their customers on this option. It seems they would much rather promote the bells and whistles that add big time cost to the product. There is virtually zero cost to include a telecoil. The cost comes in the time it takes to educate the person on how to use it. Time is money so they say. Seriously, telecoils are wonderful. Check out http://www.hearingloop.org for info on how this all works, and remember they can be used with those personal devices.
Thank you so much for the information.
You are very welcome! Please reach out to others with this information if/when you can. 🙂
Hi everyone, I'm new here. I've worn binaural aids since I was 30…resound and phonak. Dr. is now recommending cochlear implant on worse ear…kind of scary to me. Had 2 hour meeting – hearing tests and discussions about various brands. Overwhelmed!! Audi seemed to lean toward Cochlear Nucleus system with Resound aide for other ear. Reading 3 fat brochures on that and MedEl and Advanced Bionics. Is it allowed to comment on those in the group? I'd love any/all opinions
I am now 71 y.o.
I am going through the same thing at the moment. On the 5th of October I have the CT and balance test and decide on what brand (reading and researching a lot). Actually did a chart between Cochlear and MedEl to make it a little easier to compare them and I'm leaning towards the Cochlear. I discounted AB early on as I really want an off the ear as my current BTE gives me constant dermatitis. Both Cochlear and MedEl appear to be excellent choices with their Kanso 2 and MedEl. Both have assigned someone to me to answer any questions I have. Cochlear appears to give more free accessories than MedEl, which is nice. I will also have a hearing aid in 'better???' ear. With both you can use any hearing aid brand but with Cochlear the Resound appears to seamlessly tie in to their device system. And with Cochlear it appears that it will tie into my Smartphone where with MedEl it needs their link. I read and was told that with both brands you get the remote free, however with Cochlear they also allow you to pick 3 other accessories for free (I don't know how much they cost to buy but my husband bought the TV Streamer for his hearing aids and it cost a little over $100).
If anyone else is using Cochlear or MedEl would love your thoughts. I friend has used Cochlear (now both ears) for years and has been really happy with them and their service. She lost a processor once and they immediately sent a replacement (you get a one time 'no questions asked' processor replacement with Cochlear if it happens during the warranty period (5 years for both Cochlear and MedEl I believe on the processor).
So far Dr Le (Scottsdale Mayo) hasn't indicated her favorite but we will be going over them on the 5th. She has been fantastic, as have their whole CI team. On the 7th I meet with the surgeon. Then I guess the team goes over everything to determine if the surgery is safe for me (I'm 81 and, knock on wood, in good health and very active).
Good luck on your journey. Julie