With the first signs of hearing loss, conversations become difficult, music becomes less enjoyable, and what you want to hear begins to blend into a background of noise. You may also begin to lose out on the life you have enjoyed with others. Properly fit and programmed prescriptive hearing devices significantly improve the quality of life and may be your long term solution for your hearing loss.
However, for some persons with severe hearing loss their ability to understand speech significantly deteriorates over time.
If your hearing devices no longer provide the clarity and comfort of sound you desire, cochlear implants may offer the clarity you are seeking. Over the years, hearing implants have helped thousands of people to engage friends at a dinner party, participate in meetings with friends or at work, and enjoy the voices of children and grandchildren.
There are hearing implant solutions that are appropriate for many types of hearing loss, including high-frequency hearing loss, moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss, and single-sided deafness. We can help you to identify the hearing implant which is right for you.
A cochlear implant bypasses the damaged part of the ear and directly stimulates the hearing nerve fiber so that sound is better understood in quiet and noisy settings. There are two main parts to an implant system: an external sound processor and an internal implant. The microphones on the external processor pick up the sounds and convert the sound into a digital signal that is transferred to the implant just under the skin. The internal implant is surgically implanted under the skin and a small set of electrodes inserted within the cochlea. The hearing nerve fibers in the cochlea pick up the signals and send them to the brain. There are two styles of external processors and we can assist you to select the style that meets your hearing needs.
The BAHA bone-conduction system can be a pathway to better hearing if you are living with single-sided deafness, conductive, or mixed hearing loss. While most hearing comes from sound waves traveling through the aid, you also hear from vibrations that pass through the bones in your head. The sound processor picks up sound from the environment and converts it into vibrations which are transferred through either an abutment or a magnetic attachment to a small titanium implant inserted in the bone behind the ear. The sound vibrations are then sent directly through the bone to the inner ear where they are converted into electrical impulses that travel directly to the brain, allowing you to perceive sound naturally. There are three head-worn processors designed to meet a different level of hearing loss and we can help you identify the appropriate system for you.
If you are experiencing a severe hearing loss and the amount of benefit you are receiving from your hearing aids is limited, please contact us at (insert phone number) to start a conversation about hearing implants as an alternative to hearing aids.
If your hearing aids may not be providing the clarity you had hoped for and you may still struggle to understand in situations with many speakers and background noise, it may be possible to fulfill your desire for better hearing using a hearing implant.
If you have single sided hearing loss and have trouble telling where sound is coming from and struggle to follow conversation in groups and in noise, you may be a candidate for a BAHA hearing implant.
Over the past year, Dr. Jewell Baggett-Strehlau has joined the Cochlear Provider Network with Cochlear Americas. We are now performing implant evaluations locally and can tell you immediately if your hearing qualifies you to proceed on this path. With a referral from your physician, insurances cover most of the cost of this evaluation and if you qualify, we can assist you on your next step. If BAHA is an option for you, we can demonstrate the benefit you are likely to receive from the implant. If you decide to proceed, we will help you choose the right processor and the style and accessories that best suit your needs.
Once we have determined that you are a candidate for either a cochlear implant or a BAHA you will meet with an otolaryngologist, will review the surgical process with you, answer your questions about the surgical experience and help you decide if this next step is right for you. We can also put you in touch with others who have received a cochlear implant and are willing to share their experience with you.
Both the cochlear implant surgery and the BAHA surgeries are usually short outpatient procedures, and within days you can be back at your daily activities. After the healing is complete in 2-3 weeks, you will return to Audiology and Hearing Health to begin the activation process. The activation of the BAHA typically can be accomplished in a single visit with a 2 week follow-up.
However, the activation of the cochlear implant is a gradual process. If it has been many years since you have heard clearly, you will need to learn to recognize speech and understand conversations once again. The evidence of clinical trials is that most individuals over time, significantly improve their understanding in quiet and in background noise. You can receive the support, training, and assistance to reach your goals with the professionals at Audiology and Hearing Health.
The decision to pursue a hearing implant could help you to reach your hearing goals for the first time in a long time. You may be able to participate in conversations more easily than you have been able to, and you may reach the point that hearing loss no longer holds you back from the activities that you want to participate in.
Take the first step today. Schedule an appointment for a new hearing exam with a cochlear candidacy consultation at Audiology and Hearing Health. We can answer your questions, decide if this is an option for you, and help you on the first steps of a journey to a better hearing experience.
Call (615) 713-1275 to make your appointment today.