Gloria E. struggled with her hearing loss for most of her life. For more than 30 years she tried a variety of hearing aids but still wasn’t finding benefit. Then she learned about the Smart Bimodal Hearing Solution, pairing a Nucleus® Cochlear Implant in one ear with a ReSound hearing aid in the other. Gloria explains her experience below.
“Allow me to relate how I have chosen to hear binaural after a more than 30 year period of using hearing aids prior to my cochlear implant, even though one ear was more diminished than the other.
For years, I chose to utilize major brands of hearing aids, using three of the six over the 30-year period, even though it was a financial challenge at times.
Within 20 years, my hearing loss had reached the severe-profound level in both ears. Believing one must be totally deaf for cochlear implant qualification, it was another eight years before I learned the truth. My experience motivates me to educate others about the process and benefits of implantation.
Having a history of being hard to fit with hearing aids, and choosing to continue hearing binaural, a ReSound hearing aid was ordered for me before my cochlear implant surgery so I could adjust and become comfortable with the new hearing aid and its sounds.
Hearing binaural has always been important to me, so I wanted a hearing aid that complemented my choice of a cochlear implant. I had no prior experience with ReSound, but I was pleasantly surprised that immediately the sound was natural and comfortable. With the ReSound hearing aid situated, I was completely prepared for the cochlear implant surgery and rehabilitation.
For several years prior to my cochlear implant, phone use was avoided entirely except with my husband. Even then we had begun to text, realizing I could not understand important details he often needed to relay during his travels. Within two months after activation of my cochlear implant I was able to understand speech on the phone with the use of the Cochlear™ True Wireless Phone Clip.
One time while on a business call, my hearing aid battery died leaving only the cochlear implant as my hearing source. Typically this would have been disruptive, but I understood the gentleman clearly with my Phone Clip. I tried to mask my excitement, but finally I shared my “moment to remember” with him. The Phone Clip provides comfortable phone use, as well as listening to music or presentations on my computer equipped with Bluetooth.
For me, I use the Wireless Mini-Microphone less frequently but it is helpful in specific situations. I don’t find it as necessary in my day-to-day interactions because of the success I have with my cochlear implant.
Just recently, after 14 months of activation, I ‘tested’ the cochlear implant and hearing aid benefits while sitting outside enjoying the sounds of a summer night. I removed the ReSound hearing aid and continued to hear with no noticeable difference with my cochlear implant. I reinserted the ReSound hearing aid and removed the cochlear implant, at which time I heard nothing. The success of the cochlear implant and the enhancement in my hearing with the addition of the ReSound hearing aid was re-enforced.
The result is a bit different when testing speech. I do understand speech with the cochlear implant only, but at times more effort is required. Being bimodal (using the hearing aid and implant together) improves the quality and clarity of speech for me, thus reducing the effort for me to understand the words.
My own research before choosing a cochlear implant led me clearly to Cochlear for three reasons:
(1) the history of quality rating and their approach to quality,
(2) the True Wireless accessories, and
(3) their hearing aid partner.
Prior to my cochlear implant, hearing loss isolated me from society with limited communication with even my dear and patient husband. Now we both volunteer for Cochlear and frequently consult with interested persons, a candidate or new recipient, demonstrating the benefits and changes a cochlear implant can bring to lives.”