Switching on my Phonak CROS

Have you seen those YouTube videos of people having their cochlear implants switched on for the first time? Well, that’s just what is was like for me getting my CROS system ‘switched on’.

My audiologist hadn’t given me terribly high hopes for using the Phonak CROS. With my single-sided hearing loss, he’d said it could take anything from three months to a year to get the benefit. But, as soon as the hearing aids were switched on, I immediately looked to the left to follow what the audiologist was saying. He and the Phonak technician couldn’t believe how quickly my brain was able to process the sound. It was instantaneous. None of us could believe it. I was instantly getting a sense of sound coming from both the right and left ear. The sound sounded quite natural too – not like it was coming through microphones and being amplified: it just sounded ‘normal’. Continue reading “Switching on my Phonak CROS”

Holiday inspired Hearing Aids & Cochlear Implants

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I absolutely adore Christmas time and everything involved with it.  Being in the UK, our traditions include decorating the front room with garlands and fairy lights, wearing tacky Christmas jumpers and munching on pigs in blankets!

This is Harry’s second Christmas, but this year is his first “hearing” one and I aim to make it special!  It’s got me thinking about how to get Harry more interested and involved in the holidays, so it’s time to start some new traditions, and one of those is going to be decorating Harry’s cochlear implants! Continue reading “Holiday inspired Hearing Aids & Cochlear Implants”

Showing off my new hearing aids

I had my annual checkup the other day at the hospital, and I was somewhat adamant I wanted to keep my hearing aids even if there was a newer version available.

However, that changed completely once I talked to my audiologist… Continue reading “Showing off my new hearing aids”

Overcoming Hearing Loss to Make Music Again

On Oct. 25, 2015, I did something I hadn’t done for more than 34 years. I performed my music in front of a live audience.

I had a successful music career in the ‘70s and ‘80s, but it ended when, by 1982, I had lost my hearing. This year, however, I made the decision to return to the recording studio and follow my musical passions again.

Here’s my account of the event: Continue reading “Overcoming Hearing Loss to Make Music Again”

A lesson on baby’s first hearing aids

As mentioned in my Finding out our Baby was Deaf post, Harry received his first set of Phonak hearing aids when he was just 7 weeks old. It was quite a scary thought that our little baby would have to wear equipment on his ears, and that we, as his parents, would have sole responsibility of managing them. Thankfully, our local Audiology team was fantastic.  Daniel, our audiologist, made us feel completely at ease, and was so gentle while he took Harry’s first ear impressions for his molds.

When it came to choosing a color for his hearing aids I really wanted him to have a cute baby blue. My partner, Scott, was a little apprehensive about having a colored device, as he didn’t want them to stand out too much and for people to stare. But Harry had such a bald little head, and whatever he wore would have been on show! So, I managed to convince him that blue was the way forward. Continue reading “A lesson on baby’s first hearing aids”

Tackling My Tinnitus

I don’t normally like to write about my tinnitus because I find that thinking about it or even seeing the word written down makes me focus on mine and seems to intensify it. But, today my tinnitus is so bad, I figure writing this post isn’t going to make much difference.

I’ve suffered with tinnitus since I was a child. [I use the word ‘suffered’ quite deliberately because I feel that it is something unpleasant that I have to endure. I will explore the terminology and attitude later in this post.] I remember being very young and not being able to go to sleep because I thought I could hear the garage door banging repeatedly. My tinnitus then (and often still now) resembled the sound of a metal up and over garage door being slammed shut over and over. As you can imagine, I found this distressing. My Mum tried to reassure me that the noise was just my ear hearing the blood pumping round my body and that it was nothing to worry about, but it still kept me awake night after night, on and off for years.

When I started to lose my hearing in my thirties (as a result of a condition called otosclerosis), I began to notice my tinnitus more, and sometimes not just at night but in the daytime too. The audiologist who fitted my first digital hearing aid referred me to a hearing therapist. Continue reading “Tackling My Tinnitus”