My wife got her implant 2 years ago now. She has thought about getting the other but has been told its not much of an improvement. What has your experience been with having the second one. She has a hearing aid for the other ear. I do know she loves the implant though because it allows her to do things she used to not be able to. We went on a cruise recently and she got to swim with the dolphins which are her favorite animal in the world. She had to take the hearing aid out but had a waterproof cover for the implant. The fact that she could hear while being in the water thrilled her so much that you could see it on her face. Anyhow, sorry to digress, was just curious as to your experience with the second implant.

from /u/Quazal

Not sure how much you know about this, but the earlier in life one gets the implant, the faster and better the improvement will be. I don't know if your wife was deaf all her life, or if she only got moderate hearing loss, but assuming worst case, she's just like my mom, who was also born profoundly deaf and didn't get an implant until she was 33. She hasn't gotten a second one because it would definitely not be worth it with the little improvement she got from the first one.

However, for someone like me who got almost everything I could have out of the first one starting at ten months of age, a second one will be, and has been so far, greatly worth it. So depending on where your wife is in that range, you guys will have to make that decision with your audiologist whether a second one is a good idea.

Audience Approval (36)

What’s with the capitalisation of deaf? I have quite severe (and increasing) hearing loss from contant ear infections and I keep being referred to as Deaf which I’d never come across before until v recently. How come I’m Deaf but my brother isn’t Blind?

from /u/apikoras

From what I know, deaf refers to the actual condition of being deaf, and Deaf refers to someone who is part of the Deaf community. I should do more research on why exactly it's capitalized as a difference maker. I don't know enough about the blind community to answer your last question. Who knows, maybe members of that community are also called something slightly different.

Audience Approval (55)

Cochlear implants are really cool. I've listened to a number of examples of what music/sounds sound like for people that have them.

I'm not sure if you can know how things are "supposed to sound" to compare it with... But I'm curious, we've designed music around how normal hearing works for normal people. It seems with cochlear implants that music sounds dramatically different, loss of tonality and pitch.

What do you think of music? Have you been able to identify with any music and find it enjoyable? From what I was to discern about how music likely sounds *to you* it occurred to me that we should probably try to make music for individuals such as yourself and build it around the way you hear - even if it sounds ridiculous to the rest of us.

What are your thoughts on music and your hearing compared to normal biological hearing?

from /u/Yeuph

I can recognize pitches and the like in music, but I really enjoy a good beat. As such, my main genre I listen to is various types of rock; from butt rock in Sonic Adventure all the way to the heaviest 80s metal. Similarly, dubstep is a blast to listen to.

I'm curious as to this new type of music you're thinking of experimenting with. Please reach out and if it's good, I'd be glad to promote your music for free!

Audience Approval (38)

It's my understanding that there is a lot of controversy in the deaf community surrounding the implants. I am acquaintances with a deaf woman, and she absolutely HATES the thought of the implants. She is of the opinion that she is not broken and doesn't need to be fixed. She has real issues with people who get them or get them for their kids. Apparently, this is a common belief. Is there really that much controversy with these implants? If so, have you run across it at all?

from /u/LymeJello

Generally, I know that there is controversy, but all the deaf people I've met here in New York City don't have a problem with it.

Of course, the view that deaf people are broken and the only way they can be happy is with cochlear implants is absurd and ignorant.

People can do anything they want with cochlear implants, but using them to streamline their deaf children hurts the Deaf community and suppresses the spread of awareness. Even though I wear two CI's and my quality of life is very much improved, I'm still proud of my deafness and maintain a healthy standing in the Deaf community. In my opinion this is the best way to utilize cochlear implants.

Audience Approval (48)

What's the difference between regular deaf and profoundly deaf?

from /u/bluntiograph

Profoundly deaf is simply a way of saying that I have 90-100% hearing loss. Those who are hard of hearing are technically deaf, as they have some extent of hearing loss, but not totally. So most people in the Deaf community may have only one ear that is deaf, or both may have slight hearing loss, but they are still considered Deaf.

Audience Approval (20)

Do you know how to sign fluently?

from /u/wfjlfyh

My mom raised me in ASL, so I'd like to say I'm fluent, but I don't really communicate with enough Deafies to prove it.

Audience Approval (10)

Do you get much hearing benefit from the second implant? Guessing you can hear some sounds from the second side, but do you have much speech recognition if you were to use this side alone?

from /u/thealbervan

As of now, I don't have much speech recognition, but it's been very slowly getting better. If I used only my weaker side more often, I'd probably have better results, but it's least of my concerns in times like these.

Audience Approval (9)

So, how much shade are you getting from the (rest of the?) Deaf community?

from /u/Throbbing_Smarton

(Copy-pasted)

Generally, I know that there is controversy, but all the deaf people I've met here in New York City don't have a problem with it.

Of course, the view that deaf people are broken and the only way they can be happy is with cochlear implants is absurd and ignorant.

People can do anything they want with cochlear implants, but using them to streamline their deaf children hurts the Deaf community and suppresses the spread of awareness. Even though I wear two CI's and my quality of life is very much improved, I'm still proud of my deafness and maintain a healthy standing in the Deaf community. In my opinion this is the best way to utilize cochlear implants.

Audience Approval (10)

I see you understandly take the magnet portion off for comfort during sleep. How do you set an alarm to wake up? I've heard of vibrating rings or bracelets but have never seen them or known anyone who has.

from /u/The_Opinionatedman

I have an old alarm clock that has a disc thingy. If you plug in the disc thingy and put it under your pillow, it will powerfully vibrate at the right time. It also has a lamp function that turns the lamp on at the right time. They both work relatively well for waking me up.

Audience Approval (18)

What is a sound you were most surprised by? Anything make a noise you really weren’t expecting?

from /u/box-o-water-

This isn't the answer you may be expecting, since I first started hearing at 10 months of age. Thus, I was not quite understanding enough of the world to "expect" sounds.

However, some things do sound a little different with a second implant. I'm still not used to someone talking on my right side, since that new side can't comprehend speech yet. In fact, if it's too loud on that side, I could almost lose my sense of balance somehow. Couldn't explain it; it's just that weird.

Audience Approval (12)

How comfortable are they to wear? I have a bone-anchored hearing aid which causes zero discomfort, and I've had BTE hearing aids in the past which were difficult to wear for more than an hour. How do cochlear implants compare to those?

from /u/Vitztlampaehecatl

I don't even think about them being there most of my life. When they get in an uncomfortable position, I subconsciously adjust them, much like one would do with a pair of glasses.

Audience Approval (8)

I don’t know much about those implants. Do they need to be switched out every so often or do they last a fairly long time? How does it affect daily life for you, like washing your hair or sleeping?

from /u/bowlofjello

The implant itself was inserted into my cochlea (hearing organ) through surgery. That is supposed to last a lifetime, otherwise we'd have to pay for a surgery too much.

The hearing processor, which is what you see on the outside, has a magnet that sticks to the implant inside my head. It also contains microphones that take in the audio that is transferred all the way to my brain through the implant. This processor is upgraded every five years or so, while continuing to be compatible with the old implant I have inside me.

I take off the processors when I do anything that involves me getting soaked (they're water resistant, but not waterproof just yet) and when I go to sleep for comfort reasons. So yes, I don't hear a single thing when I take a shower or go to sleep. Also, since the magnets aren't necessarily super strong (for health reasons) when I do things like riding a roller coaster I have to take them off so I don't lose them forever. The rechargeable batteries also sometimes don't last the whole day, so I have to carry extras.

Audience Approval (24)

Are there magnets in your head? I knew a deaf wrestler who had magnets in his head when we were in high school. I never knew what type of surgery that was though.

from /u/saggycoconuts

That sounds like a cochlear implant surgery. Whether he decided to wear the outside processors so he could actually hear was up to him, I guess.

Audience Approval (6)

First off, I just want to say thank you for spreading awareness. People like you make me a lot less terrified about where I may be headed and I’m sure it helps a lot of other people as well. (Sorry this is so long)

A few years ago, I started having very loud bilateral tinnitus (ringing in the ears). They say it was from sound damage but I’ve always been cautious about how loud things are around me, so I’m not sure. Because of the tinnitus, I had a few hearing tests done and another test that was supposed to determine the pitch of the tinnitus (I guess). It turns out, I have upper register hearing loss and my ears ring in two different pitches. I also experience a bit of muffling in most cases but especially with deeper voices and the tinnitus makes it so sounds have to be quite loud for me to hear them over it. Like, I still hear the sounds, there’s just a high pitched squeal on top of them so I can’t interpret them. Idk. I haven’t been technically diagnosed as hard of hearing but I watch all television with captions and I often have to look to friends and family when someone in public is trying to speak with me because I didn’t understand what was said. I don’t often hear the oven timer and I usually can’t hear ambulance sirens until they’re right next to me. I also do a sort of lip-reading where I can hear some sounds and make out some of the sounds from lip movements and then I put it all together. I tend to get annoyed when people talk with their hands in front of their mouth. I never understood how frustrating it could be until I starting having hearing difficulty. I know I still have a lot of hearing though as I can usually make it through a drive through with no issue and I participate in conference calls at work with only a few issues.

My initial hearing test was about six years ago and I haven’t been back since, although I know things have been worsening. I know I can’t afford the specialist bills and I don’t want to pay several hundred dollars for someone to tell my my hearing sucks and not be able to do anything. I’m waiting until I’m financially better off or my hearing drastically decreases.

I guess my question is, would it be wrong for me to tell people in some situations that I’m hard of hearing since I have no actual diagnosis? Like, would that be considered taboo in the Deaf community? I want to be respectful to the community but I want to get my point across to people in less words when I need them to speak up or face me when they talk. “Hey, I’m hard of hearing. Can you speak up?” Is a lot quicker than some of the other explanations I’ve tried.

from /u/parsnipsandpaisley

Plenty of people in the community are there because of their tinnitus. I have no doubt you are a part of us, especially with your descriptions about your daily life.

I relate with them so much, especially the dependence on reading people's lips! I've been getting better at it lately but I hadn't even realized how much I depended on it until I got the second CI.

I've heard that CIs cure tinnitus for some people, btw. Don't quote me on that, because a lot still have complaints, but I know a guy whose tinnitus was almost completely abolished after getting a CI. just something to consider for the future.

Audience Approval (4)

My son had bacterial Meningitis and as a result, became profoundly deaf unilaterally. A (potential) side effect of this disease is ossification of the cochlea, and we were given a very limited time-frame (10 days?) to which the procedure could even be attempted with no guarantee of success. He was 10 months old.

We opted to try, and it was successful. I have read that some in the Deaf community may ostracize him for having an implant, but at the same time, non-deaf kids will likely ostracize him to some extent for also, ironically, having an implant.

What is your opinion of some of the Deaf community's responses (the negative ones) to kids like mine and people like you? They didn't ask to be implanted, and they can always choose to never wear their processor if they feel like it. I don't know, but I don't see how I could have made the choice to give my son no option at all.

from /u/mcfuddlerucker

Maybe I was lucky having been homeschooled, but I haven't really had any bad run-ins because of my implants. There's a whole community of deaf parents with implanted kids. And most hearing kids I've spoken to have just been like "that's cool" and moved on.

If you do see someone who is hostile towards that, I'd definitely ignore them and stay away. They have zero reason to try to control your decisions, and they're just obsessed imo. They have good intentions, of course, but there are ways to have the CI and also be a part of the Deaf community.

Audience Approval (2)

How do they measure how well you can hear? They must have some kind of hearing test to measure the success of the surgeries? Also how did they test your hearing post surgery while you were a baby?

from /u/JustaDoorMatt

To put it as simply as possible...

There are two speakers, one on each side of me. I'm in a soundproofed room by myself. In the room across from me separated by a window, is an audiologist controlling what pitch and decibel noise comes out of those speakers, and I raise my hand if I hear something or not. The test results are measured in how many decibels of hearing loss I have, before and after (without the implants, I believe I have 100-something dB of hearing loss.)

As for when I was a baby, I'll get back to you on that.

Audience Approval (3)

What color is your toothbrush?

from /u/Norgeroff

My favorite color; green :) How about yours?

Audience Approval (7)

What myths about Deaf people do you find to be most persistent? Funniest? Most harmful?

I have a coworker who is Deaf and I asked him about one I had seen recently on reddit : that many young Deaf people are surprised to learn that the sun doesn't make noise. He said he never thought the sun made noise and had never heard of anyone who had.

from /u/rjeanp

One I really don't like is the assumption that deaf people are also mute; my mom is very self-aware of her voice so she doesn't vocalize when she is communicating as much as other deaf people do. It may seem like a harmless myth. But when they get shocked and weirded out hearing the vocalizations of another deafie, that's when it becomes a little ableist.

Audience Approval (4)

Do your parents yell at you more to do chores like clean the dishes or take out the trash now that you can hear?

from /u/Trappist1

Joke or not, I can boast in their extremely good parenting as they treat me with respect.

Audience Approval (4)

Favorite type of music or singer?

from /u/TeddysHeadies

Rock and roll! Dubstep is also a bonus for having the sick beats

Audience Approval (2)

What happens when you are texting someone and they do a voice text?

from /u/NCTUNA

Oooooh that secretly ticks me off to no end! I have to go grab my special CI headphones and plug them in and connect them to my implants and it's such a drag to be able to hear those! Sometimes I just leave them on read because it's such a drag lol

Audience Approval (3)

Do you use any accessibility services in school, or do you find that to be unnecessary with the implant? Before you had the implant, what services did you use?

from /u/goldenhakuna

As I was homeschooled all the way through high school, I was pretty okay with one implant. Now that I'm in college, I really only make sure I'm in the front row. If I'm too far back, I'll definitely have trouble hearing.

Audience Approval (1)

Ohhhh I have so many questions that have been circling in my head for weeks since we covered cochlear implants in our medical ethics class.

Do you think deaf-ness is a disability or should be thought of as a different culture which is valid in and of itself and shouldn’t be “fixed”?

Do you feel like you have missed out on deaf culture? Are you considered an outsider of deaf culture?

If you had deaf children and a cochlear implant was an option, would you give it to them?

Do you have any other opinions on the topic?

Edit: a word

from /u/cacti_need_water_too

(Copy-pasted)

Generally, I know that there is controversy, but all the deaf people I've met here in New York City don't have a problem with it.

Of course, the view that deaf people are broken and the only way they can be happy is with cochlear implants is absurd and ignorant.

People can do anything they want with cochlear implants, but using them to streamline their deaf children hurts the Deaf community and suppresses the spread of awareness. Even though I wear two CI's and my quality of life is very much improved, I'm still proud of my deafness and maintain a healthy standing in the Deaf community. In my opinion this is the best way to utilize cochlear implants.

(New text)

With this in mind, as long as I have a long term plan to keep them in the deaf community, I'd give my kids CI's because they've greatly improved my life and I'm sure they'd be grateful.

Audience Approval (1)

My husband is totally deaf in one ear from birth. He has significant hearing loss in the other. He complains about headphones to listen to music since he only hears one channel in stereo and if he converts a sound file to mono it sounds flat. Since you now have 2 working implants, do you perceive a more enhanced stereo sound as I assume you plug into each implant for headphones? My husband is very skilled at faking hearing. So much so, that his total deafness on the left wasn't discovered until he was 10 or 11. At age 35, I took him to a specialist that treated my son at Boystown Hearing Institute who diagnosed my husband with missing bones in the middle ear and assured him that he was deaf from birth. My heart aches for him because as a child he was branded as a bad kid who didn't listen in school. His mom will still get snarky and say he never listens. He works in a loud environment and wears hearing protection and the method of communication is by radio. When he properly wears protection he can't hear the radio and then his boss gets pissy. He has to remind them that he is deaf because he speaks normally and has become skilled at mentally filling in the blanks in conversation. Sometimes he gets it wrong and answers totally inappropriately and then someone will have to interpret ala Saturday Night Live Garrett Morris. Do you think an implant would help with any of these issues, especially his problems understanding speech in loud environments?

from /u/MairzyDoates921

An adult with deafness from birth will see improvement with a CI, but I can't guarantee resolvement of many issues. During my life with 1 (ONE) implant, I had many difficulties in loud environments and could really only hear in mono. Only now that I have two, I'm seeing improvements with said issues. Not sure if you know about this, but the longer someone goes being deaf without an implant, the harder it will be for their brain to recover and understand speech. It's different for everyone, but imo it's unlikely you'll be successful unless you work really hard to make it happen (via hearing therapy on cochlear.com).

Audience Approval (1)

How do you think? Do you think in letters or sign language?

from /u/Emperor_octavius999

I was raised in sign language but I don't think in that anymore since I speak english thanks to the CI.

Audience Approval (1)
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