A cochlear implant can be the answer for many people who find that despite their well fitted hearing aids they are struggling to hear in daily life. Some may have also been added in wireless accessories such as the Phonak Select/Pen system which works by enabling wireless streaming of phone calls, conversations from one or multiple speakers, and TV programs.
Read the following list – if you answer yes to any or all of the questions, it might be time to head to your nearest Attune clinic to get a comprehensive hearing test.
- Are you relying more on lip reading than your hearing aids?
- Do you need people to repeat themselves often?
- Have you stopped using the telephone?
- Is speech hard to understand even when talking 1:1?
- are you feeling increasingly isolated due to not hearing?
- Do you have difficulty communicating in groups?
- Is your job in jeopardy due to hearing loss?
- Can you no longer hear the birds, your children / grandchildren's voices, the microwave beep?
- Is TV hard to follow even with captions?
- Do you feel unsafe in the world because you can't hear?
- cannot hear at all out of one ear?
Quality of life
A cochlear implant can help you when your hearing difficulties become so much that they affect the quality of your life. You may have noticed or others may comment that you seem depressed and avoid joining in on social activities such as family BBQ's or going out to dinner with friends. Your personal relationship with your partner may be strained as they struggle to communicate with you in daily life, and you withdraw as it becomes ever more frustrating. Friends you had may have stopped calling round or asking you out for a meal/drink at the local club, or a round of golf, or a game of footy as they know that you can't hear them and that you don't join in any more. You avoid going out anyway as it makes you so tired trying to hear conversations and join in with the laughs at the right moment. It has been years since you were able to hear well on the phone and so you stop making calls and just text or email instead. This is hard if you have family who live away or overseas and would like to hear your voice. Using the Phonak Roger Select/Pen system has helped a lot but you can still feel embarrassed that you have to carry a few devices around with you.
Current hearing option/s
Wearing hearing aids is all you have known for a number of years now. From your very first pair of hearing aids to your current Phonak Audeo hearing aids, you have been a regular wearer putting them both on every day from early morning to night time. The Audiologist you see has reviewed your hearing every 12mths and checked your hearing test results to see whether any adjustments are needed to your Phonak aids. Your hearing aids have also been reviewed every 12mths and sent back to Phonak as needed for service and repairs. Still you struggle with hearing speech clearly and just can't have any background noise as it competes too much with conversation. Getting a Phonak Select/Pen system did help you to hear a bit more in meetings and groups with not too many people. Adding this Phonak wireless accessory has been a good supplement to your Phonak hearing aids. However you know that more is needed and that there are other hearing options out there. You have read about cochlear implants and wonder would a cochlear implant help you?
You discuss with your Audiologist about the possibility of a cochlear implant. They agree that a cochlear implant may help you to hear better as your Phonak hearing aids despite being top level technology still have limitations given your severe degree of hearing loss. The Audiologist provides you with some basic information about cochlear implants (what they look like, how they work, how you would still use a hearing aid in the other ear, and be able to use your Phonak Roger Select/Pen system with the cochlear implant processor and the remaining Phonak hearing aid). They recommend that you see your GP and get a referral to an ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) surgeon so that you can discuss the medical aspects of getting a cochlear implant and whether you would benefit from such surgery. The ENT Implant surgeon will then send you to an Implant Audiologist who will assess and support you through the entire cochlear implant process from pre implant to post implant and beyond.
Cochlear sound processor
The Implant Audiologist explains that if you do get a cochlear implant then you can use both the cochlear sound processor and the Phonak hearing aid to give you hearing from both ears. Also that the Phonak Roger Select/pen system can be set up for both devices and allow stereo streaming which will greatly improve what you can hear in groups and background noise. You will be able to use it for TV streaming and also taking mobile phone calls. Being able to hear through two ear devices is always so much better than hearing from one ear alone. It is good to know that getting a cochlear implant still allows you to use wireless accessories such as the Phonak Roger Select/Pen system.
So can a cochlear implant help me?
If you have answered yes to any or all of the questions in the beginning of this article then a cochlear implant could potentially help you. Seeing an ENT Implant surgeon for medical review and then an Implant Audiologist will help give you information about whether you are a suitable candidate for a cochlear implant. Will you still be able to use your Phonak hearing aids – yes you can still wear one in the other ear and hear with two different devices. Also that the Phonak Roger Select/Pen system can be used for stereo streaming with the two devices. It is good that you now know that you have other hearing options to consider to assist in improving your overall quality of life for hearing and communication. So jump on board and talk with your Audiologist or G.P. soon – we all need to be able to hear, communicate, and connect with our family and friends. Life can be different with a cochlear implant!
A cochlear implant can assist when hearing aids are no longer enough and other assistive devices such as wireless accessories e.g. Phonak Roger Select/Pen system have also been tried. The process of assessment for a cochlear implant will be through a referral from a G.P. to an ENT Implant surgeon and seeing an Implant Audiologist. Using a hearing aid in the other ear will allow hearing with two different devices but give more benefit than hearing from one ear alone. Adding in wireless accessories like the Phonak Roger Select/Pen system will not only be possible but will give enhanced hearing with stereo streaming. Call up Attune Hearing today to ask about booking in for a comprehensive hearing test.