What the Future Holds

On Wednesday, I will be meeting my new ENT surgeon for my second cochlear implant. Well wait a minute Alyssa…You stopped wearing the one you have and now you want another one…To that I respond…you obviously haven’t read the previous blog post thoroughly enough. Nu.1: My decision My rules, Nu. 2: I do wear my cochlear implant and I am ready for the next step, Nu. 3: There are all kinds of reasons for people getting a cochlear implant, one of my biggest reasons is for preventative measures. 

I do worry sometimes that my first cochlear implant will short out or the internal piece will break and I may not have the benefit of the wonderful health insurance I have now. I’m hoping that with having my second cochlear implant, it’s almost like having a backup plan for the future. I also do wonder if my opportunities will open up with having this newer technology: will the phone be clearer? will music be more understood? will my hearing be more “normal”? I honestly won’t know until after the surgery. This is typical of any cochlear implant surgery.

Some people don’t know this but there are Three different manufacturers for cochlear implants in the world (Cochlear, Advanced Bionics, and Med-El). Each hospital collaborates with typically one specific manufacturer for their patients. My hospital and I believe most military hospitals collaborate with Cochlear. 

Cochlear recently came out with a brand new internal processor…well back up

Here’s a picture of the parts of a cochlear implant:Image

Now anyways: Cochlear came out with a new electrode array that is shorter than the one that is currently being used and allows for any residual hearing to be preserved in the ear. THEN they add a hearing aid into the mix. I hope I haven’t lost you yet, but as quoted from the cochlear hybrid hearing solutions website:

Cochlear Hybrid® Hearing is a unique combination of two proven technologies brought together in a single device.

It uses acoustic amplification to improve the low-frequency hearing you still have, while taking advantage of cochlear implant technology to restore access to the high-frequency hearing you are missing. Together, these two technologies give you a more complete hearing experience so you can hear better in noisy environments and understand speech more clearly.

This is my future…the very near future. I am so excited to share my journey with people everywhere. It will be a new experience for me and my family. It will be hard work especially with so much of the therapy happening during the school year but I know that if the work is invested, then it will be worth it.