I recently went deaf in my right ear. (About a year ago). I am now a candidate for a CI and I am actively looking at / comparing the 3 manufactures. I have been researching for the last year and it is clear that they are all good products. (As one person said, there is no Mercedes in the group, they are all Honda’s and Toyota’s).
On that note, what would be the groups opinion on the most rugged of the CI’s? I am a Judo / BJJ / and wrestling coach and would like to continue the sport, but I am very concerned about damage to the implanted portion. I will be removing the processor while practicing as well as wearing a soft helmet.
Based on the Cochlear Implant Helps Comparison Chart (see here to find the most recent) all of the current models have the same impact resistance, though it looks like a couple of AB’s older models are more robust.
You should also talk with your surgeon about what you plan. My understanding is that there is some wiggle room in where it is placed, so he could try to make sure it ends up under the helmet.
A completely internal CI. Wait for it and take up bowling.
Is this a joke?
If not, fully implanted CI is not an option for sports like the OP in any way.
If your only coaching and not participating in those sports competitively. I would have a serious discussion with your surgeon regarding magnet positioning. Don’t be surprised if he/she says you shouldn’t be participating. All because I was told to not get any heavy knocks to my head.
I don’t think any brand of the implants are more robust than the other though. It’s the magnet and receiver which is just under the skin above your ear that would be the most fragile.
All 3 have good points going for the devices. But only 2 at this stage have direct streaming capabilities, Cochlear N7 & AB. As far as I’m aware with Med-el you need other assistive listening devices to get the streaming…
Cochlear pair with Resound & AB 3D Hires pair with Phonak.
Good luck with your hearing journey.
Are those coming anytime soon?
No, MIT has been doing some research but power especially is a big issue.
This article here might give everyone some insight to the issues surrounding the fully implanted CI. I don’t think it will be for a few years though. It’s being trialed here in Melbourne. It’s an old document and don’t know any of the latest data released.
@phobos512 I’ve just put up a new link so you can read the whole document. Sorry about the other one.
Thank you all for replying!!
It sounds like the fully implanted CI is still a ways out. -It just takes the entire CI and puts it under the skin. this would eliminate the need to attach anything external, other than to charge it. I am not sure this make any difference to how rugged the device its. I may even make it more fragile, because all the electronic stuff is now embedded in the device. Additionally it would make replacing the external processor very difficult, requiring surgery every time you want an update.
I also note “The first generation of the fully implantable device was implanted in three patients in 2005 and 2006 for a Phase 1 trial”. This was a long time ago… 14/15 years… what has happened since?? It sounds like the concept has been abandoned…?
Trials like this are going to take time. Start with how few CI candidates there are at any time, especially once you eliminate child candidates. Then limit the geographic area, I am sure this is restricted to certain centers. Then you need someone who hasade that call for an implant to say sure try this totally experimental equipment on me, where if it doesn’t work you will need to do the surgery all over again to fix it.
I am not surprised they are short on volunteers.
Do you really need to wear your implant when your actually wrestling?
Good question… I will be removing the processor when wrestling, but I am still worried about the internal stuff getting disconnected/broken.
You never want to “head butt” or shall we say have hard head/ear contact with a external CI or an internal CI. Why take the risk of damaging CI hardware over a wrestling match, when it could damage your existing hearing short term and long term?
I do agree that if it is a fragile piece of equipment then precautions should be taken… What gets me, is that they are putting these in kids with the expectation that they will last a lifetime. Don’t you think kids are going to be pretty rough on them? I would think that if they were fragile, then kids would have constant problems… So my guess is that the implanted portion is pretty solid and should be good??
Dwolenik I was told not to get any heavy knocks to the magnet region. So I can only assume it’s not as solid as we would like. Especially the receiver portion of the implanted devise.
Here is what Cochlear says on the recipient side of their website:
Some activities impart acceleration or pressure to the recipient’s head. Activities with a risk of high-impact are not recommended for cochlear implant recipients. If a cochlear implant recipient decides to engage in such activities, it is recommended that they wear a helmet that allows enough spacing over the implant site to prevent pressure from being applied. Such a helmet may help to reduce impact forces, but will not fully protect the implant system. It is recommended that recipients do not wear their external equipment when engaged in these activities.
Since they all seem to have about the same rating, I imagine the other manufacturers say something similar.
Thank you to all for the great feedback!! I think you are all right and that the CI should be treated as fragile. It is probably stronger than we think, but just in case it would be a shame to mess it up, knowing that it would require another surgery to fix.
To be safe, I will not be continuing my sports as before. If I decide to continue to be a member of the Judo/BJJ/Wrestling community, then I will do it from the sideline…
I am think you’ve made the smart decision. Why risk it?