CI going beyond hearing

and let’s be honest. A CI is a big improvement over being deaf or having a profound hearing loss and catching maybe 50% of what’s being said. But there are some other concerns/hurdles a CI represents and should also be factored in before getting one. Now I admit I’m not up to speed on where CI stand today or the last few years but I think these few issues below should also be factored in before getting a CI.

As far as I know the CI involves a magnet (or something) that insures the outer transmitter properly connects with the internal antenna and receiver. Not if you’re an active person I can tell you point blank, your CI will come off or apart if you move your head quickly. Not the biggest issue in the world but I assume running or any sudden head movement could present (short term) connection problems. Don’t know about biking, hiking, use in canoe, etc., should you fall in water.

Swimming, shower - I’m assuming certain procedures need to be followed to do either. I don’t think you can just take off your exterior transmitter and take a shower, but assume you have to wear something over head to keep things dry.

Battery charging. You will have to charge batteries every day and have backups. No big but I’m sure everyone from time to time gets caught with a CI with a dead battery. Last I heard you could keep a battery charge 14 to 16 hours but that might of been extended.

Infection - I don’t know percentage of CI’s that have had issues with ear/skull, etc. infections but it does happen. I’m also think most people that get some kind of infection can get it cleared up fairly quickly but make not?

Lastly - Due to the limited field of CI manufactures you only have a few you can choose from. Many years back a few of CI manufactures had legal and financial problems due to defective CI. I believe the situation now is a lot better but it still seems from year to year someone (manufacturer) drops out to be replaced by someone else. From what I gather your doctor with provide the array of CI companies, but the “user” is the one that has to select.

Bottom line - in many cases if not all, the last choice someone has to hear better (in quiet environment) is a CI. But just remember your lifestyle will change once you start using one beyond just hearing.

Sounds like most of these are sorted out: 1) Physical activity and swimming/showering sound ok: Cochlear Implant and Childhood Activities

Children with cochlear implants can participate in all common childhood activities. The implanted portion of the cochlear implant system is unaffected by running, swimming, or any normal activity. Precautions that are recommended to protect the device from trauma and damage include:

  • Wear a helmet when bicycling, skateboarding or roller-skating to help prevent damage to the internal device in the event of a fall.

Remove the processor when swimming or engaging in other activities where the external parts could get wet. However, there are water-resistant speech processors, and one manufacturer has a processor that is “swimmable” and can be worn in the bath, swimming pool, lake, or ocean.​ (from Cochlear Implant Risks and Limitations – Baby Hearing

Regarding batteries–sounds like there are disposable and rechargeable options. This is going to be an issue (pretty minor in my mind) no matter whether one uses hearing aid or cochlear implant

Infection is a real risk, but relatively small for the potential gain in my book.

From the description of activity I shared, it really doesn’t sound like one’s lifestyle would be modified much compared to just being a hearing aid user.

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The magnets come in different strength, but once you have the right one the CI is at least as secure as a hearing aid, sudden head movement certainly doesn’t effect it. I have not had anything present a short term problem, when it comes off it comes off, it doesn’t pop off briefly and reconnect.

There are no special procedures, you take the external part off and get your head wet. The internal part is just that, internal, it is as protected from water as all your internal organs. And all of the CI manufacturers have an option that will let you wear your external device while swimming, so in that way it is better than any hearing aid on the market.

Battery charge varies by manufacturer, the rechargeable batteries for my N7 last about 18 hours (they claim up to 31 but mine have not been optimized yet) and it came with two. It also came with an adapter to take two 675 batteries, and a portable usb charger for the rechargeable. I do not anticipate any serious battery issues.

There is of course a chance of infection during any surgery, and a slight increase in the chance of meningitis afterwords, but there is a vaccine for that and you will be required to get it before the surgery.This is an infinitesimal concern.

There are three companies in the US, Cochlear founded in 1981, Med-El in 1990, and Advanced Bionics in 1993 and bought by Sonova group (Phonak) in 2009. In Europe there is another owned by Demant the makers of Oticon. That is all there have always been. Have there been recalls, yes they are medical devices, but all of the companies have weathered them just fine and none have come close to going under. The recalls have generally been less the one year’s net income, usually much less.

The only lifestyle change I have had so far is being able to understand what people are saying. Are they perfect, of course not, but it is much better then my hearing aid was.

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@hold4triple you are so not up to date with your information it’s not funny.

@pathurley thanks for pulling this thread to pieces and giving out the correct information…

Another scaremonger in our midst!

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Sure wish the negative members would just not post concerning CI.
It serves zero purpose.

Thanks to those who contribute positively.

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There are a lot of us out here who are not up to date regarding cochlear implants. What some state as concerns were actual concerns at one time. Obviously cochlear implants have come a long way from the days where certain strict criteria needed to be met before one was even considered a candidate for an implant. So when someone voices a concern that is now an outdated concern then educate that person. I don’t understand the hostility I witness time and again from those who have implants. Congratulations on your success. Try sharing your success with others. Maybe if you’re nice about you can help someone else to make a decision. Don’t bother to respond. I’ve already been attacked for saying something that used to be true but apparently no longer is.

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@hass5744 I can only speak for us in Australia for strictness involving the guidelines for being eligible for CI. Those rules are still very applicable here, my WRS needed to be under 30% with aids. Mine was 22% and 26% if I remember correctly.

Insurance companies here in Aus play no part in the assessment or the agreement for the person hoping to get a CI. It’s the Dr and the Audiologists assessment only. Our Insurance companies just pay the bills. If the Dr says it’s necessary that’s the end of the argument as far as the insurance goes. From my understanding it’s totally different with regard to insurance in the US.

Most of us who had a CI in 2019 or 2020 have shared our stories for all to read here on the forum.

These comments are not meant as criticism in any way, so please do not take them as being so.

Thank you for your response. And without any hostility. And thank you to everyone else here who has responded without feeling like they need to put someone in their place. And congratulations to everyone who has an implant and it has made a difference in their lives.

Wow that is strict.

The general rule in the US (it varies slightly by manufacturer and a lot by insurance) is less then 40% sentence recognition in noise (HINT or similar) in the ear to be implanted and less the 60% in the other ear or binaurally, with hearing aids And a moderate to moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears, although Med-El was just approved for single sided deafness. Generally you will also be required to use well fit hearing aids for at least 6 months to show that they are not sufficient for you.

I should point out those are the requirements for adults, children have their own criteria.

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Under 30% with aids is almost worthless communication. If you had 31% speech with aids and still couldn’t get an implant that would be tuff to except.
I think the United States is 40% loss without aids is classed a disability.

Sorry, I may not have been clear, that is 40% with aids. But it also in noise, my test was done with a 60 dB background babble and the sentences presented at 65 dB. All recorded so there is no presenter variability.

In quite with aids my sentence recognition was in the 90s, which blew away my word recognition scores in the 40s. Obviously the brain is very good at filling in gaps.

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@Raudrive 30% is the recommendation here. But I’m sure it would be up to the Dr & Aud to make the final decision on 31% or close to the 30%.

The Auds took my case to a team meeting to discuss what ear would be best done. The 22% congenital loss L ear. Or the 26% SSHL R ear of 3 yrs loss. The R ear was the better ear to do according to the Aud team.

@pathurley our insurance companies have absolutely nothing to do with any medical decision making. We just submit our accounts after the operation and they pay most or all of the account. We might have a small out of pocket contribution. By small I mean less than $1500.00.

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