Is a CI the right decision

I have been wearing hearing aids for about 4 years now. I have sever-profound hearing loss in my left ear and what was moderate hearing loss in my right ear until recently. 3 weeks ago my right ear suffered from SSHL. I started treatments the day after I lost my hearing in my right ear but there has been very little improvement. My ENT is continuing with the weekly injections but is directing me to CI specialist.
I have been trying to do a lot of research on CI but I keep coming back with mixed emotions. Part of what I find says a CI would improve my hearing to a better than what my hearing aid did before the SSHL. I also find the other end of the spectrum, stating that CI isn’t that good. My concern is I need my hearing for my job. As of know, I am on medical leave because I cant hear, but I know my employer wont keep me there for to long before they decide if I am fit for duty.
I am completely lost as what to do or decide. Can anyone help shed some light on this to help me make a better informed decision?

2 Likes

I can only say we all have to do what is best for each of us. But I would say that being able to hear is one of the most important thing that each of us can provide for ourselves, personally if I needed the CI to support my family and myself I would not hesitate to do it.

3 Likes

My take from reading others on the forum is that most who end up getting a cochlear implant are pleased and questioned why they waited so long. I’m sure there are horror stories of things going wrong, but I haven’t seen them on the forum. My impression is that the surgery has gotten more and more reliable.

Go get it, it is one of the best decision i made! Look at my audiogram, i’m not exactly deaf on the left ear.

I recently had a CI on my better ear 9 weeks ago, ie the one that had the SSHL 3 years ago. My other ear my ENT is convinced is congenital loss. My surgeon was positive that because the ear with the SSHL would give me the best result. He was correct, 4 weeks after activation, in my CI ear only I had a WRS of 98.5%.

So if you can convince your surgeon to do your SSHL ear also I think you will get a excellent result as well.
Good luck with your decision :four_leaf_clover::four_leaf_clover:

3 Likes

Thank toy for everyone’s input. I know it is the best decision to get the implants. Hopefully they will start with my bad ear to get some improvement.

@eniveparg just be aware that many people world wide are having big issues with the Hybrid array. I have many friends that have had to be reimplanted with the longer array because the array failed. This occurs 3-5 years after implantation. Here in Australia the Hybrid array (short array) has been removed from the market. This is the reason why I had to have the longer array, and still my surgeon managed to save a good portion of my residual…
Good luck with your decision.:four_leaf_clover::four_leaf_clover:

2 Likes

I’d like to read of more experiences of others that have had the CI surgery. Especially those that have had SSHL prior to the surgery. My situation is almost a carbon copy of @eniveparg ‘s. I had vertigo with nausea the day this occured. Went back to work as soon as the vertigo cleared, but reduced schedule due to the amount of doctor appointments and physical therapy due to still having balance issues. The SSHL happened in the better of my ears and the other, my left, has had nerve damage since I was a kid. I’ve had to use my left aid in my ear otherwise, I’d would barely hear anything.

From what I know it seems like the good results far out weight the bad results. But keep in mind that there is a time period required for healing and then having the implants adjusted properly.

1 Like

My implant was activated a little over a month ago and I am extremely grateful that I made the decision to go with the implant. I am hearing things that I never thought I would ever hear. Learning to hear with the implant takes time and there is a learning curve to it. My suggestion is get the implant and spend as much time learning to understand the sounds of the implant as you can.

3 Likes

Wow! Thanks. I have a few questions. So the implant resolved the SSHL issue? Are you using any hearing aids in addition/with the implant? It this an outpatient procedure? If you are working, how long before you went back?

Yesterday, I went to the audiologist that I bought my hearing aids from in 2017 to see if I could get my left aid re-programed as I now need it to hear since my “good ear” suffered the SSHL. I mentioned that my ENT thought that would work better for me. Well, out came the negativity about a cochlear implant. I don’t believe audiologists do implants, my ENT doesn’t, she referred me to another doctor who specializes in this type of surgery. I’ve been reading the posts here and they’re good which gives me hope. Thank you, you’ve inspired me. :smiley:

Here is the wonderful story from Deaf_piper.

It probably would have made sense for me to go the CI route many years ago. Back then I was approaching the “stone deaf” category. My wife (when I had a wife) kept saying my hearing was fine, it was my listening that needed work! Wrong! So now I am wearing UP class Ambra BTE hearing aids and my hearing and understanding are still marginal at best. If I had taken the plunge when in my 60’s and considered CI it might have gone well, but now that I am well into my 80’s it just doesn’t seem worth the cost and effort. However I can’t wait to be upgraded to Naida Marvel UP hearing aids when they appear in Canadian audi clinics, hopefully this spring.

@debbie_o it’s the best decision I ever made 7 months ago. I’m now Bimodal, my surgeon did my SSHL ear, as my other ear is congenital. I have an N7 and I love it for its streaming and phone calls direct to my ears. Not having to say “sorry, could you repeat that“ is a thing of the past. My only advise is you need to be able to find at least 2 hours a day for rehab.

3 Likes

@Deaf_piper Thank you for the advice. It’s good to know about the rehab therapy aspect. I’m so surprised at all the people that have suffered from SSHL. I’m like how can you hear one day and the next, you don’t. I’m not looking forward to going through surgery. I’m a type 1 diabetic that has had two vitrectomy surgeries in my right eye (very little usable vision in that eye), one in my left eye that saved that eye, surgery for a broken leg, etc. in the past. However, the posts I have read have made me hopeful. Thanks for the words of encouragement. I’ve set an appointment up for my evaluation on 2/3 with the CI specialist.

@debbie_o no one answered your questions, as I said I’m bimodal, meaning HA & CI combination. This work brilliantly for me. It depends on what brand of CI you choose to go with as to what HA will pair easily with your CI. I have a Cochlear N7 & they pair with Resound I have an Enzo2 , using the iPhone.
Advanced Bionics implants is the 2nd company they pair with Phonak HA’s.
Med-El is the 3rd company and I’m not sure who they use for the bimodal approach.

Here in Australia most surgeons keep you in overnight. But in the US it’s a day procedure. But if you have any health issues that could complicate your recovery it could be a longer stay.

How long off work? That’s a good question, because you won’t hear anything much from that ear until after activation, 2-4 weeks later. So at least 1-2 weeks providing you have no post op complications from the implant surgery. Also depends on the type of work you are doing.

In the meantime do heaps of research on each brand of Implant and arrays available. It’s all readily available on the internet. So that if your successful and your discussing which Implant & processor you can ask the surgeon specific questions…

Good luck with your appointment :four_leaf_clover::four_leaf_clover::four_leaf_clover:

3 Likes

@Deaf_piper Thank you for your answers. They’re very informative. It looks like there are a lot of possibilities as to what approach a surgeon may take.

I like your answer about returning to work. How you won’t be able to hear anything from the side of the implant until the implant is activated. That isn’t going to ake much difference for me because I haven’t heard anything from that side now for a month since the sudden hearing loss. I’ve managed to return to work after the loss and round of vertigo with my other ear with the help of my left hearing aid. I can’t hear well at all without the aid. So outside of the healing process (being diabetic). I would be using my left ear to hear.

We’ll see what the doctor says. Thanks for your information and for your best wishes! :smiley::smiley::smiley::smiley:

1 Like

My implant surgery was an out patient surgery. The surgery wasn’t all that bad. There was a little bit of pain and swelling. I wasn’t able to return to work for 5 days after the surgery and the activation was 3 weeks after surgery. As Deaf Piper mentioned, there will be limited hearing in that ear.
When they activated the implant, understanding was difficult and the sound was delayed for a few seconds. Once the sound synced up, I was able to understand the speech better. I spent a lot of time watching videos with subtitles. I also watched videos where I knew the voices. I believe by doing this it helped speed up the time for speech recognition.
1 month after the surgery I was hearing the tones at 15-20 decibel range and my speech recognition was 97% in my implanted ear only. The audiologist did tell me that I responded quicker than most people. I don’t want to get your hopes up on how fast you will understand with the implant. I believe if you put in the rehab work the quicker you will understand.
I am working on pre-approval with the insurance company to do my other ear and hopefully it will be completed in the next month.
Research which brand of implant you will go with. In my area, each brand has support groups where you can ask questions to help make your decision. This is a life long decision. I went with Cochlear partly because it pairs with my iPhone and my Resound hearing aid.

3 Likes

Now I wonder how this going to work. I lost the hearing totally from my right ear, but my left ear suffered what I’ve been told in the past is nerve damage that wasn’t confirmed until a fifth grade hearing test. However, with a hearing aid, I can hear just fine. Without it, forget it. So, I don’t know whether a CI can be done or whether it will be attempted or whether it will be left alone with me continuing to wear a hearing aid. I know if my hearing were normal in my left ear, I don’t think I would qualify for a CI implant. If I’m not mistaken an audi told me a few years back when we were talking solutions for my left ear that I wouldn’t qualify as a candidate for a CI implant because I had normal hearing in one ear. Now that I think about It, if I had an implant and no hearing aid in my left ear, things would probably sound strange in my right ear at first.

Talk to a Dr that specializes in cochlear implants. They would be the one that would have a better idea if it would work. I was scared at first because I knew it wild sound different but decided that was still a better option than not being able to hear. To be a candidate your hearing aids are not helping you hear as much as they should. I know with my insurance company I needed to be under a 40% word recognition score in background noise to qualify while wearing the hearing aids.
So I would get with a specialist and see what they recommend. I do not regret making the decision to get the implant. In fact it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

2 Likes