My hearing journey
My deafness began after I had an accident, age 30, leaving me deaf in one ear and suffering severe tinnitus. I found the tinnitus affected every aspect of my life; work, family, and sporting activities were a challenge. Then one day in 2009, I suddenly lost all hearing in my ‘good ear’ while brushing my teeth! At this point communication became a struggle, and I often resorted to using a white board and pen to enable people to communicate with me. Initially, I was told a cochlear implant wasn’t suitable for me due to possible auditory nerve damage. However, I persevered and sought a second opinion. This was a very worrying time for my wife and I, but after further tests I was put forward as a candidate for a cochlear implant.
I never thought of not having the operation, but the hardest part of the decision making process was choosing a manufacturer. It was a big decision to make and my clinic gave me the option of three manufacturers to choose from. The information from the manufacturers could be confusing at times and I found talking to current cochlear implant users really useful. I was able to get answers to questions important to me, such as information on battery life and usability outdoors, as I have a very active lifestyle. The support programme offered by each company was another key consideration, with the holiday loaner programme being a significant reason for selecting MED-EL.