Progressive Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Do you have sensorineural hearing loss? John's story isn't real, but is based on the experiences of many people with progressive sensorineural hearing loss. If your own story sounds similar, a cochlear implant may be the solution for you.


John's Story

John is 68 years old and has progressive sensorineural hearing loss, which means he gradually lost his hearing over time. This type of hearing loss is very common and can be treated with a cochlear implant.

What’s Missing

For most of my life, I had relatively normal hearing. However, as I got older, I noticed I was having trouble hearing my friends and understanding conversations. I spoke with my doctor and I was fitted with hearing aids. They worked very well, but after several years they didn’t seem to be enough.

When trying to have a conversation with family or friends in a busy restaurant or other crowded place, I was finding it increasingly difficult to hear what people around me were saying—even when I had my hearing aids turned up all the way. I began to avoid social gatherings, busy public spaces, and other places where I had difficulty maintaining conversations. I spent less time with family and friends, and I couldn’t enjoy many things I used to. After I had a particularly difficult time at my grandson’s birthday party, I decided I needed to make a change.


Finding an Answer

My audiologist confirmed that my hearing had significantly declined and recommended that I make an appointment with an ENT specialist. When I met with the ENT doctor, she told me that I was an ideal candidate for a cochlear implant. She explained how a cochlear implant can bypass the damaged hair cells in the inner ear, so it could restore my hearing even when hearing aids could not. She showed me how the small implant would be inserted under the skin behind my ear, and that using the audio processor would be similar to handling my current BTE hearing aids.

First Sounds

My wife and I were concerned about the surgery and anaesthesia, but my ENT specialist explained that it’s a straightforward surgery and that the risks are similar to those associated with other ear surgeries. After speaking with my family and reading up on the topic, I knew I was ready to move forward. We scheduled the implant surgery for the following month.

My surgery took a little under two hours; I was back on my feet the same day and able to go home the next day. About two weeks after the surgery, I was ready for my activation day. When my audiologist activated my implant, sounds didn’t immediately sound like I remembered, but I could hear my wife’s voice better than I had in years.

Steady Progress

I actively participated in a listening rehabilitation programme to help me adapt to hearing with my new cochlear implant. Although many sounds were unfamiliar in the beginning, I was encouraged by the steady progress I made. After a few months, I was able to understand speech very well, even in noisy listening environments. Things began to sound more natural, and I could enjoy listening to music again. What's more, I was hearing new sounds, like birds chirping and leaves rustling, for the first time in years!

Things began to sound more natural and I was hearing new sounds, like birds chirping and leaves rustling, for the first time in years.

A World of Difference

Now, I find it easy to communicate with my friends and family. I can enjoy going out to dinner with friends, lively family gatherings, and even speaking to people on the phone without difficulty. When I’m at the theatre and other public spaces, I use my audio processor’s built-in telecoil for easier listening. And when I’m on vacation, I can even enjoy my hearing while I’m swimming.

I’m proud to say I took charge of my hearing, and I happily tell people that getting a cochlear implant was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m grateful that my cochlear implant has restored my connection to my family, my everyday independence, and my quality of life.

Why John Chose MED-EL

Speech in Noise

Not being able to understand speech left John socially isolated and unable to connect to his world. With a MED-EL cochlear implant, John now feels confident chatting with friends, even in busy environments like restaurants and cafés.

Easy to Use

John wasn’t interested in having to constantly change settings and use complicated gadgets. He much preferred MED-EL’s straightforward remote control and Automatic Sound Management technology that adapts to listening situations without manual changes.

Hearing Experience

To have the chance to appreciate music again and hear birds singing were two things John really hoped for. He knew that it’s not a guarantee with any CI, but because of MED-EL’s Triformance technology he felt he was in the best position to hear what he’d been missing for so long.

Audio Processor

John really liked being able to choose from two audio processors. He particularly liked RONDO 3 because it sits off the ear, meaning he can easily wear his glasses. He also loved the idea of being able to hide the audio processor under his hair. No one would even know he had an implant.

MRI Safety*

John had already had a couple of MRIs because of a back problem. He had read that SYNCHRONY 2 can undergo high-resolution MRI scans without additional surgery** to remove the magnet* and that MED-EL offers an MRI guarantee.*** He knew that this was the right choice for him.

These profiles are composites based on real recipients’ experiences. These profiles should not be considered as medical advice or recommendations. These hearing loss profiles are designed to help people better understand the overall hearing journey. Every individual’s hearing is different, so you should speak to your clinician to find out what is best for your needs.

* The SYNCHRONY 2 cochlear implant is MR conditional. Recipients with a SYNCHRONY 2 cochlear implant may be safely MRI scanned at 0.2, 1.0, 1.5, and 3.0 Tesla following the conditions detailed in the instructions for use.
** Unless required for diagnostic reasons.
*** The terms and conditions of the MRI Guarantee can be found here.

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