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4 years ago, my audiologist highly recommended a specific surgeon for my CIs. I was deaf in one ear & had NORMAL low-tones-only residual hearing in my other ear. Audi promised me much better hearing, clarity in voices, & better hearing at music. Surgeon warned me before 1st CI that I could lose my hearing & music, but I had nothing to lose in my deaf ear. 1st CI greatly complimented my good, normal low-tones-only residual hearing in other ear. However, I did not receive same warning nor did this surgeon follow up with audiologist to protect my good, normal low-tones-only residual hearing in other ear.
After 2nd CI, I am now deaf in that “good” ear, can no longer hear music, & ALL sounds are horribly distorted - permanently. I can no longer lipread like I used to either. Surgeon failed to warn me before 2nd CI, as he did with 1st CI, or he should have simply refuse to do 2nd CI. I lost a huge part of my quality of life. “Bilateral CIs was better hearing” & MRI on both ears was only good for 6 months (can no longer have MRIs if you have CIs) was emphasis in convincing me to decide on CIs for both ears. Huge, huge, huge mistake.
There are other options to try before drastic CI in a “good” ear. Additional post-surgical issues include losing balance for an entire year, relearning took hear again thru practicing many hours on various apps, & finding any comfort levels to tolerate distorted hearing on my iPhone’s Cochlear app. Changed audiologists several times & some improvement, but my cochlear hearing now is worse than when I had good, normal, low-tones only hearing in good ear. I filed complaint with Florida Health Dept with obvious proof of deceptions & malpractices by both audiologist & surgeon, but they decided in favor of medical professionals.
Cochlear implants are definitely a buyer’s beware issue, especially if you have Medicare & another insurance carrier to pick up difference. This was a death sentence to me - l lost music that I enjoyed so much & all quality hearing compared to my current cochlear hearing. I had hoped to hear my grandchildren better, but they now sound like little men or robots. There is much money for cochlear implants to be made for the audiology & surgeon professionals - don’t sign their surgical waivers either.
My son upgraded his equipment less than one year ago. Replacement equipment does not have the original 5 year warranty, it has a 3 year warranty and does not come with a backup processor. The processor began having troubles and a new one was ordered. Cochlear is sending a refurbished product. Families and insurance companies pay full price for new equipment but the warranty only replaces it with used equipment. Once the equipment is replaced the original warranty dates do not change to reflect replaced equipment, the original 3 year date is in effect.
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I was born profoundly deaf since birth (4% out of 100% on the left & 0% on the right), wore hearing aids from 4 yrs old to 57 yrs old, most of 'em are useless, wax, whistles, blocking, wet inside etc. Decided to go for assessment in Dublin Hospital (Beaumont) after applying for the implant, went few times, including test & MRI scan. They asked me why I want a implant, I told 'em, my dream is to listen the music, always a dream. Appointment for surgery in 2018 November, switched on two weeks after, first time I heard was funny metallic or cartoon like noise, six weeks later, the sound settle down to normal cos my brain was getting a hang of it..
First time I heard my dog walking around in my house, I never knew his paws does make a noise (clicking noise from his nails), heard various birds singing and calling, (crows are terrible lol), listening the music awesome, I could sing 4 songs (sing alone or only to my kids), I never imagined that I can do that, amazing. I was lucky to pick a right processor, Nucleus 7, because it paired with my Iphone Apple. I could listen the music by Youtube on my mobile in my pocket while I’m working, my boss don’t know that, cos I’m only one can hear (by Bluetooth on my Mobile). Thank you to Beaumont Hospital for making my dream come true..
My hearing quality after 2 1/2 months is no better, in fact worse than before my surgery. The distortion, constant buzzing has made by hearing worse in a quiet environment and no better in a noisy environment. Music and voices sound totally different and nothing like before the surgery. Cochlear also charges for each appointment to program the processor which wasn't stated up front and atypical in my hearing experience with hearing aid companies as I was never charged a fee to adjust a hearing aid.
I have had Cochlear implants for 6 years and had both sides implanted for 5 years. I was close to totally deaf. Now I can hold international teleconferences. My hearing 'acuity' is that of a 3 year old. My hearing discrimination is around 90% even in noise. This is remarkable. BUT I needed to work at it. The best analogy I can give is think of a 'autostereogram' those patterns that you have to stare at unfocused and then you 'get' a 3D image. Cochlear implants are like that but for hearing. Initially making out words, sounds etc., is difficult but with practice your brain gets it right. Read that last bit again - it needs practice and can be difficult.
So what about Cochlear the make implants. I was given a choice and I chose Cochlear as they seemed to be built for mishandling, not that I mishandle but I didn't want delicate! The latest ones come with a whole set of things, rechargeable batteries - mine have lasted that 6 years. A bluetooth hub which you can use for linking to phones with bluetooth, a remote microphone that you can use to listen to someone a bit away or perhaps the driver of a car if you are in the back seat. A TV 'streamer' that provides continuous audio stream from the TV. And a clever remote control that saves having to learn the button presses on the processors. Of course what you also get is a set of little user guides that are written by someone who knows how the stuff works so misses steps and who reads them anyway right?
I note a comment above about not being able to turn down/off ambient sound - well you can do that but you need the remote control and you can balance external sound volume against streaming sound for both TV and telephone. If you turn external sound right _off_ then you stop hearing yourself - a little disconcerting. SO - after 6 years I would not be without these implants. There are some times when I hear better than people with no hearing problems. I have had one processor fail in the 6 years but I can get a refresh to the new Nucleus 7 processor now. Yes there are design issues I would have liked different. They should have used native bluetooth for their radio equipment. I don't know why they can't use the processor microphones for phone calls rather than wear a phone clip/microphone. And there are more Android devices than Apple so why initially only support iPhones?
But overall this has been a really good journey. All the people – audiologists, surgeons and Cochlear staff I have met – have been very friendly and helpful. If you are thinking of a cochlear implant - go to a surgeon that does a lot and then whatever brand of implant you use you will wish you had done it earlier. I have no regrets having chosen Cochlear. 3 months and I move to the Nucleus 7.
I had the Nucleus 7 implanted in May 2019. Had terrible side effects, so I can understand the person who had tinnitus. My doctor said no one has those side effects. well, I did and it was not pleasant. The only option they had was to remove it so I changed doctors. The side effects nearly killed me. By mid-August, I was able to start hearing more talk than static. So I am grateful for that. I doubt had I know what I was going through I most likely would not do this again. I found the corporate office folks not very responsive to this. FDA, on the other hand, took my issues under advisement.
Yes I am deaf and I have gotten the Nuclear 6 processor new last year and it has broke 4 times and they have not done anything about it. I asked for to upgrade to the Nuclear 7; the one that goes in the ear not behind it. No luck and they have stop letting me get my supply from them. It just a waste of my time.
First they are compatible only with Apple. They should have used Bluetooth. Their implant is only compatible with Cochlear. They overcharge like crazy for simple parts. Pronto implants on the other hand is compatible with all phones and other hearing devices. They are customer friendly being an American company and do not charge a 1000% markup. Chose Pronto for a hearing implant.
I have no problems with the quality of sound with my Cochlear hearing aid when it works. However it seems every six months or so the thing quits. Cochlear has a racket going. At $750 a pop you can get a rejuvenated one that works. A new rechargeable battery is $250. If you want a unit that will use batteries it is $250. A cable is over $50. Of course you can buy insurance through them for over 800 a year. Their prices are criminal, but they have you because you're deaf without it. They prey upon us. They need more competition. I am going to check out Pronto.
Without Cochlear I am unable to communicate with friends and family. I was hesitant at first being a little vain but now that I have it I can't imagine being without it. I wear it all the time no matter what my activity i.e. Golf, working in the yard and of course all social events.
Cochlear author review by Rosemary Avance, Ph.D.
Founded in Australia in 1981, Cochlear Limited is a leading cochlear implant manufacturer. It was the first company to receive FDA approval for implantation in adults and children the United States. In 1984, Cochlear introduced the first multichannel system to transmit multiple sound frequencies. More than 450,000 people have been implanted with Cochlear brand implants. The current model is known as the Cochlear™ Nucleus® System. Cochlear also offers a combined hearing aid and cochlear implant system called the Nucleus® Hybrid Implant System and a bone conduction system called the Baha® System.
Smallest behind-the-ear cochlear processor: The Cochlear™ Nucleus® 6 Sound Processor is the smallest behind-the-ear cochlear implant processor. It uses dual microphones to minimize background noise for optimal sound quality.
Discreet off-the-ear option: Cochlear implant users have the choice of an off-the-ear processor called the Kanso™, which was introduced in 2016. It is available in eight colors to match your hair or skin tone and is ideal for those who want a discreet option as well as those who wear glasses.
Low profile: The internal stimulator or receiver is thin, so it creates less of a raised profile through the skin. This results in a device that sits closer to the scalp.
Five year warranty: Each component of the Nucleus system comes with a comprehensive no-questions-asked five-year warranty, which covers the sound processor, coil, cable, magnet, remote, and battery holder and cover.
BAHA implant options: Cochlear offers two BAHA implant options for people with conductive or mixed hearing loss: The Baha® Attract System leaves the skin intact, while the Baha® Connect uses a small abutment through the skin.
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