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Anyone here with cochlear implant(s) / hearing aids ?

Yes on isolation. Reason for them thinking hearing loss goes hand in hand with dementia. Seems everything is so expensive and not covered with insurance or medicare. I can't live without more than a day anymore, yet I can't afford to replace then either. So, I baby the ones I have... Starkey's. without the bluetooth feature for phone calls.
Hearing loss, for me, isn't as bad as the tinnitus. That's what bothers me the most. I can put the best white noise on my ears, but it doesn't work. I thought about cochlear as was recommended by a phd audiologist but I can't find any evidence that it takes care of tinnitus.
Other than that, I fly my DJI Mavic Air 2 in areas that doesn't have people talking, that helps. :).

I’ll have to ask my crew here about tinnitus and cochlear, right now I have a little ‘rush’ in rh ear, nothing new but it’s never been overbearing or bothered me much.

I will pm you sometime soon about your hearing loss and aids.
It could be I can help you out.
 
Starkey's. without the bluetooth feature for phone calls...
I've got that feature on mine, but to honest it can be hit and miss. Some people can't hear me clearly whereas others can't tell I'm using the feature.
Other than that, I fly my DJI Mavic Air 2 in areas that doesn't have people talking, that helps. :).
Big reason I fly and pursue my other photographic interests...distraction. Not only for the hearing concerns but the mental health and other injuries the military life gave me. If I sit still I think about it...no good for anything.

Appreciate the thread MAvic_South_Oz, good to have a bit of a therapy vent and read the story of others...but always remembering there's someone worse off than ourselves...
 
Appreciate the thread MAvic_South_Oz, good to have a bit of a therapy vent and read the story of others...but always remembering there's someone worse off than ourselves...

Hey I tell you it’s humbling to read the replies from others here.
I know a LOT of people have hearing issues, and get comments from neighbours etc especially now with masks and no face / lip reading ability with them, even those with minor hearing loss notice the difference.

Aussies will understand, Bunnings staff tell me many that shop there (tradies) they have to drop their mask all the time so customers can understand them.
(Info for world members, Bunnings is a large trade hardware type warehouse, very popular with tradesmen and home renovators. )
 
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Associate with hearing loss Starz ?
Maybe try those Bose Sleep-buds 2 ??
(Mentioned by Atkas post #14)
Hope you can find some relief from that.
Too many 2stroke dirt bikes, guns, hand held grinders, and other noise making devices. I’ve always worked with my hands building stuff.
There are documented cases of people that end their lives because they just can’t take the never ending ringing.
I’ve dealt with this for over 20 years. I guess I’ve just gotten used to it and many things left to do(grandkids)so I’m not doing the end thing.
Sometimes it is very maddening, but I’ve learned to live with it.
There are certain chemicals that aggravate the noise level. Caffeine, salt, nicotine to name a few. Not giving up my cup of Joe in the morning.

Background noise does provide some relief and I am thankful that I can still hear it.
 
Hey I tell you it’s humbling to read the replies from others here.
I know a LOT of people have hearing issues, and get comments from neighbours etc especially now with masks and no face / lip reading ability with them, even those with minor hearing loss notice the difference.

Aussies will understand, Bunnings staff tell me many that shop there (tradies) they have to drop their mask all the time so customers can understand them.
(Info for world members, Bunnings is a large trade hardware type warehouse, very popular with tradesmen and home renovators. )
I never realized how much I relied on facial expression and lip reading until people started wearing masks. Now back to saying Huh every time someone tries to talk to me. Its frustrating. :). I have actually asked people to drop their masks just so I could finish the conversation with them. Women especially,. Soft high pitch voice. Amazing how much you will agree with everything they say without actually hearing anything they say. LOL.
 
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Hearing loss and tinnitus from my many years listening to my boat motors. They will tell you when something is wrong. Sadly no help for the tinnitus. Best wishes on your recovery and improved hearing.
Mine was many years driving truck on the highways, road and tire noise. That and target shooting without ear protection. Now, I work in maintenance and hear pump motors. I do wear protection whenever I can now too. Too little too late. Someday, I hope they can find different techniques for curing it
 
Babies screaming, and yes no audible winds warning beeping.
My wife thinks I use it for selective hearing, lol
Maybe 😬
I remember when I got my first aids, in the ear buds, I walked over gravel and it scared me. Then I got home and was searching for a sound I never heard before. Turned out it was the microwave beeping. I never knew they had that. :) My neighbor came over to congratulate me on the new aids because she was always forced to watch the same TV shows as I was :).
 
Just in hospital ward after having cochlear implant surgery today.
Went well, should be home tomorrow.
3 weeks wait for processor fitment and turning it on.
Very open to hearing (no pun intended) your hearing loss experiences, and sharing my journey in more detail.
I believe the info here for prosperity would help many others in the future.

Not easy posting at the moment, see threads I’d like to help somewhat, but just hard on the phone pad and seeing right with glasses skewed a bit on bandaged head !!
Oh heck, don’t make me laugh 😂

More in the coming days and beyond.
You certainly touched a nerve, lol. Glad you posted..and again, best wishes. Fly soon!!
Enjoy
 
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Background noise does provide some relief and I am thankful that I can still hear it.

Tinnitus is a curse and while I think I do have a little, it's not causing me grief thankfully.
Probably used to it.

Coincidence you write that, I am going to get a left hand hearing aid to complement and assist the cochlear.
Resound GN was recommended, and they have some interesting tinnitus info there on their website . . .

Now there is no known cure, this is just an app, sound therapy.

Enjoy Tinnitus Relief with the ReSound Relief App

Tinnitus treatment, cure & sound therapy - get relief

Who knows, might be worth a shot, supposed to take a while to help with the issue.

Amazing how much you will agree with everything they say without actually hearing anything they say. LOL.

Now THAT can work most of the time, but boy you can really get a strange look now and then, and you just KNOW you mucked up guessing what was said.

There are certain chemicals that aggravate the noise level.

Grinders / sanders, yeah they were the real issue for me, all the high toned machines.

Mentioning chemicals, there are those that are ototoxic too, poison to the ears.
I learned a long time ago from a US specialist that they can cause much accelerated hearing loss where you are exposed to certain chemicals and noise, up to 11 x more rapid loss !
I found this out after working in one job where I lost 10% more hearing in ONE year !
Then I got onto the cause, which for me was toluene, found in thinners and other solvent type solutions.
Xylene is another really well known ototoxic chemical.
Lots listed inc benzene products

There are also ototoxic drugs (some of the common headache tablets) and pesticides.
Google will provide lots of info on which chems, drugs, etc.
 
Tinnitus is a curse and while I think I do have a little, it's not causing me grief thankfully.
Probably used to it.

Coincidence you write that, I am going to get a left hand hearing aid to complement and assist the cochlear.
Resound GN was recommended, and they have some interesting tinnitus info there on their website . . .

Now there is no known cure, this is just an app, sound therapy.

Enjoy Tinnitus Relief with the ReSound Relief App

Tinnitus treatment, cure & sound therapy - get relief

Who knows, might be worth a shot, supposed to take a while to help with the issue.



Now THAT can work most of the time, but boy you can really get a strange look now and then, and you just KNOW you mucked up guessing what was said.



Grinders / sanders, yeah they were the real issue for me, all the high toned machines.

Mentioning chemicals, there are those that are ototoxic too, poison to the ears.
I learned a long time ago from a US specialist that they can cause much accelerated hearing loss where you are exposed to certain chemicals and noise, up to 11 x more rapid loss !
I found this out after working in one job where I lost 10% more hearing in ONE year !
Then I got onto the cause, which for me was toluene, found in thinners and other solvent type solutions.
Xylene is another really well known ototoxic chemical.
Lots listed inc benzene products

There are also ototoxic drugs (some of the common headache tablets) and pesticides.
Google will provide lots of info on which chems, drugs, etc.
For sound therapy, just launch the drone and let it hover within hearing distance. Makes a nice white noise and your having fun doing it. :)
 
2. Hearing aids to Cochlear

In a decade, I've had a cheaper pair of Phonak devices, then a really high end Phonak, strongest available, big tubes and in ear pieces.
I didn't care if they were noticeable, them working to the best was what mattered.
And work for me they did, not sure what I would have done without them.

Updated to the strongest Unitron devices in 2016/7, and never found they were as good as the Phonaks.
Maybe my hearing was just that much worse again that it spelled the end of hearing aids usability for me.

I'd had a cochlear assessment in 2015, to check if I was suitable.
Turned out yes I was a good candidate for one to assist me, but getting one through workcover would be nigh on impossible, private health cover, never had it, wasn't advised of any other options.

A bit over a year ago, I was doing a glass job for a lady, a nurse, her husband in a GP and doing a lot of retirement home calls he was referring people often to a particular cochlear surgeon, so she arranged me a referral to go and see him.

That doc was an out of pocket thing for me, cost me about $800 for a couple of appointments, an MRI / CT to see if the cochlear was healthy still for an implant, and once again this all came out very positive.

So we talked about options.
Go through Workcover (not really a choice for me, too hard a fight I could see there) . . . private cover, take it out $$$$, wait a year, go straight in and have it done with out of pocket about $2k . . . OR go through the Aussie PUBLIC health (medicare) system. Free.
Keep in mind, this is potentially an op that costs about AU$50k with the cochlear and surgery, post op, final tuning etc.
After this stage for future expenses is covered too, more in a later chapter.

Well, ears pricked up there, have paid medicare levy for as long as that has been going (38 years), never had more than a couple of minor health issues, so why not.
Drawback, about 2 - 3 years wait.
Ok, not too bad, have lived with this for 15 - 20 years so a bit longer is ok.

So referral to one of our big medical centres, and a little under 2 months later I'm visiting the audiology dept.
So let's see, referral from private surgeon early July, public health appt 30th August 2021.

Tested, other previous tests and MRI etc all checked, ok confirmed good candidate, they will book me to talk to a cochlear surgeon.

1st Nov I'm up there on another matter, just called by audiology while there, just to ask if the MRI I had recently is ok for them to use, save having another.
Head audiologist comes out after looking at my file, she takes me and the wife in for a chat.
She says because I'm young (?) and still in biz / working, I will get a lot from a cochlear, we'll be able to push you through faster.
Even booked phycologist appt for same day in 2 hours time as that's needed to ensure candidates are right mentally for the op.

10th Jan this year I finally get to see surgeon, a nice senior female surgeon with lots of experience with this delicate op.
She says no problems, will be on the waiting list, should get in by end 2022 / early 2023.

So I'm expecting a quick push through is later this year / early next year, but I get a call a week later, audiology want to see me asap for a final test ???
I ask if I'm going in late this year / early next year, they say no, you're near top of the list, (or possibly next on the list), so we need you in to take a final test, them to give me more info, and choose device colour etc.

That was 21st Jan, and here we are less than a month later and I have a cochlear implant in my head.
5-1/2 months from first visit to audiology.

Still surreal to me how it worked out so far.

I was so fortunate to have gone in that day and simply asked about that MRI, and having seen all 3 audiologists in the dept, such a dedicated group, more on that later.

Next chapter, the surgery and it's really fresh in my mind from 3 days ago.
 
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3. The Cochlear surgery.

Thurs 17th Feb I'm told to be at the medical centre at 0610, I arrive a bit before and it's all closed up in the internal depts, so I sit . . . 0600 doors are opened and yep I can come through.
Check in, have a seat.

15 mins I'm called through for a RAT (covid rapid antigen test) and thankfully a negative, or you get to go home and isolate :/
0645 I'm called in to go through details of op, make sure I'm the right person, right op, usual questions you get asked about 20 times, but best to be sure all is done right at each stage.
0655 booking nurse says she'll just check if she can get me gowned up, comes back, supervisor says not just yet, so back to the waiting room.
0700 (yes, 5 mins) she's back, can do the preps now as it's 0700, think her eyes rolled just a little with the 5 min window.
Surgical gown, leggins for circulation, oversocks, walked into the area where you're placed on a wheeled bed ready for the trip around the corridors to surgery.
Needle / tube put in back of wrist vein for whatever they want to pump into me for the op / post needs.

Just before 0800 I'm taken around the minute rolling trip to one of the most impressive places, the theatre.
Round-ish room, clean, tech everywhere, and people !
Anesthesiologist team (doc and nurses), other support nurses, my 2 surgeons, perhaps some student types, who knows but maybe 15 - 20 people.

Here we go (again) . . . yes, again.
I had a basal cel carcinoma removed in this very theatre earlier 2021, first hospital stay since I had tonsils out when I was perhaps 5 - 7 yo as a child.
2 x general anesthetic ops a month apart, and probably one more again this year when recovered from a little radiation (nose) . . . now THAT was a whole different episode, and something I should / could share later too.

This cochlear op was supposed to be long, at about 3 hrs . . . the basal cel op (1st one) was 7 hrs.

Anyway, walked to the op table and hop on, hooked up to a heap of wires etc, while details are all gone through again, not long and here's the mask coming onto the mouth / nose, breathe.
Nice deep breaths, thank team in advance, more deep breaths, no stopping this now.
And I feel myself going, going, gone . . .

----------------

1200 noon. Wake up in recovery.
Hayley (one of the recovery nurses) is there to welcome me back, groggy of course, and for a few seconds what, where ?
Ah.

Overall, feel just a bit weak, but no pain.
Throat a bit sore due to breathing tube used during surgery, had a bit of that last year too.

What do I sense when the head clears a bit . . .
Hearing seems about normal (terrible !), but yes duller now in the right ear where the cochlear fitted.
I use the iPhone Nalscribe app to get voice to text a little to help me through comms with the nurse.

During the afternoon, they bring me a sandwich, which helped feeling a bit better, constant sips of water.
Toiletry via 'the bottle' as I wasn't allowed up.

Sometime an hour or so later, another cochlear patient is wheeled in, did my 2 surgeons go from me to do this fellow next ? Probably.

So generally felling pretty good but remain in the bed in recovery until a ward bed is available later in the afternoon, about 1600 I'm wheeled up there and straight into the room 'dock' remaining in the bed.
No walking alone for me first time, but had no trouble walking to the toilet first trip so they let me do my own thing after that in the room.
Masks not worn in room, but if going out into ward corridors had to put one on, so I stayed put pretty much, just using the bathroom as needed, drinking a bit, still no pain.

Pain, yeah none at all at hospital, resisted offers of panadol as I simply didn't need, but would tell them if I did.
I was staying overnight, to be released next day (Friday), and the rest of the stay was fairly uneventful.
Surprisingly good food, and ample, excellent nursing staff, my 2 female surgeons came up to visit me with a few student types during the later afternoon.
Senior surgeon said it went well, thanked them both, was told the younger surgeon did most of the op, very special people.

Yes, I've probably lost remaining hearing in my right ear when the electrodes are slid into the cochlear, was explained to me a few times in the months leading up, and I am happy to wear that.
Once the processor (outside magnetic part and over ear microphone) are fitted (3-1/2 weeks), like previous hearing aids, I will be wearing this from when I awaken, to when I retire for the night.
---
Edit - on risks.
The op carries the usual very slim chances of serious issues of general anesthetic, but the main risks are the loss of existing hearing when placing the electrodes (high risk I feel), then at lower risk, the op goes through 2 nerves like this >
One is a facial nerve, if nicked you can have facial droop . . . the other is a taste nerve, and if nicked you could lose taste sensation on that side of the mouth (you still have taste on the other side).
So, if the nerves are close, as they are in some people (rare), they will go closer to the taste nerve.
The risk was about 1 in 1000, so not a big consideration to me.
---
I was to have an xray next day to make sure everything was in place, the electrodes (20 I think) in the cochlear mostly, then I could be released to go home.

So I'll cover now in the next chapter - Post install.
 
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I was still being disturbed during sleep not being able to wear aids to bed, but I have started using Bose SleepBuds 2. They are also a life changer! I sleep all night, and wake with very little tinnitus, which the hearing aids then take over the fight.

All of you tinnitus sufferers, I'd like to post this again (from Atkas) so it's not missed.
It's probably going to be different for everyone, but if it helps . . .
 
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All of you tinnitus sufferers, I'd like to post this again (from Atkas) so it's not missed.
It's probably going to be different for everyone, but if it helps . . .
I do hope it helps some sufferers. For me, sound therapy didn't work. I think it has to do with where the tinnitus originates, at least in theory. I was scheduled to participate in a program given at OHSU Oregon Health and Science University, but then I think they lost funding due to the hearing aid manufacturers incorporating tinnitus sound therapy into their aids. I think that's what happened anyway.
 
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The web is awesome for info.
Just some tidbit picked up now looking about.

pitches-in-the-cochlea.png

The cochlear 22 electrodes are fed into the cochlear to line up with the relative hz frequencies.

------
From the same site . . .

The entire cochlea is about the size of a pea (!). The space inside the cochlea is really quite narrow. The electrode array must fit inside this space. As the number of electrodes and wires increases, the wires must either be finer, or the array must become thicker. Current arrays are close to the limit of today’s technology in terms of how many wires can be squeezed into the narrow space while still being robust enough to last a lifetime.
------

Interesting the higher tones are in the bigger openings first in the cochlear, and the lower tones deep inside.
The wire array thickness are the electrodes go deeper is obviously what causes the loss of those tones too when fed so far inside into the narrower passage.
 
I do hope it helps some sufferers.

The Bose SleepBuds 2 somehow helped Atkas, not sure how, or if they might also help others.
The sound therapy I posted about before sometimes helps apparently, but read it takes quite some time to do so, and many might get frustrated and stop.

Tinnitus must be a curse. ringing, beeping (or is that the balsted controller !), whooshing, many different sounds that various people hear with it.
Now I have a soft ssssshhhhhh in my right ear, probably there all along, and normal hearing I had left masked it.
With cochlear in and hairs damaged, virtually hear a few clicks in that one with an old hearing aid in, so will just wear a left aid for now to help me through a few more weeks to C-Day (cochlear processor fitment).
 
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