Do you have or have you had a cholesteatoma? Daniel's story below isn't real, but describes the typical hearing loss journey of many people with a cholesteatoma. If you see similarities between this story and your own, a middle ear implant could help you overcome your hearing loss.
Daniel had several middle ear surgeries to remove a cholesteatoma, which is an abnormal tissue growth in the middle ear. The cholesteatoma damaged the bones in his middle ear, which caused moderate-to-severe mixed hearing loss. This type of hearing loss can often be helped by VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE, as Daniel's story shows.
When I was 28, I had the flu and a terrible ear infection. The pain in my ear stopped suddenly one morning, but there was fluid coming out of my ear, so I went to the clinic. It turned out my ear drum had partially torn, which let out the fluid and relieved the painful pressure. My doctor told me that a ruptured eardrum is fairly common, and should heal fine with antibiotic eardrops.
My ear healed pretty quickly, so I didn’t worry about it much. However, at a routine check-up later that year, my doctor noticed an abnormal growth behind my right eardrum. He sent me to an ENT specialist, who identified the growth as a cholesteatoma. It was small, but it could quickly grow and damage my middle ear, so it would need to be removed immediately.
The surgeon used a microsurgery approach that left my middle ear intact, so my hearing wasn’t noticeably affected. However, at a 6 month check-up, my ENT specialist found that the cholesteatoma had grown back, and was now causing damage to the bones of my middle ear. I had to have a second surgery to remove the cholesteatoma again. However, this time my surgeon had to remove the damaged part of my middle ear as well.
No Success With a Hearing Aid
My surgeon rebuilt my middle ear bones with a titanium prosthesis, but I still could barely hear with my right ear. I tried using a hearing aid for a few months, but I wasn’t happy with the sound, and wearing it in my ear was uncomfortable. I had trouble understanding my friends, I left my job, and I always felt disoriented, so I was desperate for a change.
I Wanted to Hear!
My audiologist told me that I might want to consider getting a middle ear implant. I hadn’t heard of them before, but as she explained how it worked, I knew I had to find out more. I met with my ENT specialist, who confirmed that I would be a good candidate for the VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE implant.
I spent the next few weeks reading about the implant system and watching clips from other recipients. My friends and family were very supportive, and I didn’t want to wait any longer. We scheduled the implant surgery for later that month. The surgery went quickly and I was back home just a couple of days later. The hardest part was waiting for my audio processor to be activated—I wanted to hear!
So Much Changed...
When my audiologist turned on my audio processor for the first time, everything that had been missing over the past year came flooding back. Sounds were clear and crisp; I couldn’t believe it was so amazing. My fiancée’s voice was so bright and lively—I’ll never forget that moment.
I’m so grateful that I have my life back, and that I’m able to feel like myself again. Losing my hearing was so sudden and really threw my life off balance, but my implant brought back my hearing, and even more, my happiness. I’ve had my implant for almost two years now, and there’s no way I’d give it up.
Why Daniel Chose MED-EL
Natural sound quality
Daniel’s main consideration was to get back the hearing he had before his hearing loss. His audiologist explained how SOUNDBRIDGE is designed to give natural sound quality from the moment it's activated. Daniel felt this would help him to get back his hearing ability.
Having already tried a couple of different hearing solutions, Daniel wanted to find one that would help him long-term. SOUNDBRIDGE technology is constantly being developed and updated, so Daniel will always benefit from the latest hearing technology.
Nothing in the ear
Daniel had worn hearing aids for a while and always found them uncomfortable. When he found out that SOUNDBRIDGE doesn’t require wearing anything in or on your ears, Daniel knew this was the solution for him.
As a keen sportsman, Daniel had already had a few MRIs because of injuries, and expected to have more in the future. He knew that being able to undergo standard MRI scans with SOUNDBRIDGE*, without extra surgery to remove the implant, would be a big benefit to him.
Easy to use
Daniel leads a busy lifestyle and didn’t want to be slowed down by complicated devices. With the SAMBA 2 Audio Processor’s easy-to-use design, the only thing he has to do was change the battery every week, which even Daniel finds time to do!
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 VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE middle ear implant is MR conditional. Recipients with a VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE middle ear implant may be safely MRI scanned at 1.5 Tesla following the conditions detailed in the instructions for use.
The VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE can provide natural sound quality for individuals who have hearing loss as a result of middle ear surgery. Find out how SOUNDBRIDGE could make a difference in your life.
Want to hear about the experiences of real users? Check out our User Stories, and see what life is like with a MED-EL hearing solution.
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