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A Big Decision with an Amazing Outcome

Thu, 21 Oct 2021  by  Amanda Schneider

At three months of age, my son Jacob was identified with bilateral profound hearing loss. I was overwhelmed by the diagnosis, and felt I had so much new information to learn while also learning how to be a new parent. I had so many questions. How would he learn language and communicate? How would he learn in school? How would this impact our family? How would Jacob’s life be impacted by his hearing loss?

Building the Gift of Sound - How Cochlear Implants are Made

Thu, 29 Jul 2021  by  Ali Kashen

Cochlear implants are small, yet incredibly intricate and sophisticated devices. As Class III medical devices, they are also stringently regulated and scrutinized. Needless to say, manufacturing a cochlear implant is no simple process. We caught up with Ali Kashen, AB’s Vice President of Global Operations, to tell us about how his team creates each one of AB’s implants and sound processors.

Causes of Hearing Loss in Children

Thu, 20 Aug 2020  by  Sarah Benner, Au.D., CCC-A

If your child was recently diagnosed with a hearing loss in one or both ears, you likely have many questions about what caused the hearing loss and how you can help your child succeed. Answers to some of the more common questions related to hearing loss are addressed here.

Cochlear Implant Surgery: Frequently Asked Questions

Thu, 12 Nov 2020  by  Michelle Leach

Before having cochlear implant surgery, you may have questions about what to expect for the surgery, recovery, and initial activation of the cochlear implant. Hundreds of thousands of people have undergone the procedure all around the world, and it is natural to experience a wide range of emotions, including the anxiety that may accompany any medical procedure and the fear of the unknown. Surgery is a necessary, but brief, part of the process, and the more you know about cochlear implant surgery and recovery, the more comfortable you will be with the process. Here are some frequently asked questions about cochlear implant surgery and recovery.

Deafness Made Me Who I Am Today

Fri, 11 Jun 2021  by  Stuart McNaughton

It might sound weird, but losing my hearing as a baby was one of the best things ever to happen to me. I see that now. From the moment my parents noticed I stopped responding to their voices, until the moment I was diagnosed two and a half years later, I observed the world with my eyes. I still do. Many times, my Mum has repeated the story: “They told me you were either incredibly deaf or incredibly stupid.” Forty years on, my Mum is still in disbelief that a medical professional would label a four-year-old boy in this way, but we have to remember this was in 1981. Attitudes have, fortunately, changed enormously.

Embracing a New Future for Our Son

Mon, 14 Dec 2020  by  Jessica Cox

I will never forget the wave of coldness that washed through my body in the seconds following my son’s initial auditory brainstem response (ABR) test. The Audiologist pulled up a chair across from me as I cradled my newborn, and I knew from the serious look she wore that our world was about to change. Thursday, October 17 of 2019 – Sawyer Cox, my 7seven -week-old baby, was diagnosed with Bilateral Profound Sensorineural Hearing Loss bilateral profound sensorineural hearing loss.

How I prepared for emergencies as a cochlear implant wearer

Mon, 20 Apr 2020  by  David B. Cluff

Ever get stuck in traffic and realize you are about to run out of gas? That was me a few weeks ago. As much as I was worried about running out of gas, I also feared that my cochlear implant sound processor would run out of battery life while I was stuck in traffic for three hours on a snowy night. That was when I realized that I was not fully prepared for any type of emergency.

From Childhood to Fatherhood

Fri, 16 Oct 2020  by  David B. Cluff

When I lost my hearing at age six and got cochlear implants, my parents often wondered what my future would be like, who I would become, and what achievements I would reach. They were told many things from professionals about how I might not reach certain milestones in the academic world, and about what type of relationships I might have. However, they were persistent in trying their best, and had faith in my future.

From Unknowns to New Discoveries

Thu, 30 Jul 2020  by  Sophie Woolley

My progressive deafness started twenty years ago when I was eighteen. By the time I was in my thirties, I had profound deafness in both ears. I wore hearing aids in both ears, and they were turned up very loud. When I decided to go ahead with cochlear implantation at thirty-nine, I had a lot of questions, more than my hospital had time to answer. Thankfully, my AB Mentors answered some of them by email, and they were a lifeline for me during this time.

Practice, Patience, & Perseverance - Getting a CI Is Only the Beginning

Wed, 22 Sep 2021  by  Julie Husting

I remember clearly the day my hearing aid audiologist suggested that I look into getting a cochlear implant. To say I was taken aback would be putting it mildly. I was hearing just fine with my hearing aids, as I had for thirty years. That was in 2012.

I’m Getting Cochlear Implants: What Should I Ask My Surgeon?

Wed, 25 Nov 2020  by  Doug Lynch

You or your family member is a candidate for cochlear implants. It’s an exciting time, and it may come with some confusion or worries. Having a productive conversation with your surgeon is an important way to clarify any uncertainty and address any concerns. The best way to do that is to come to your appointment with your surgeon with your questions written down.

Getting Ready for College in the Time of COVID-19

Thu, 1 Oct 2020  by  Emmy Cartwright

Having had a cochlear implant since I was thirteen months old, hearing and living with one is all I know. Now, at nineteen years old, I use a Naída Q90 in my right ear and a Naída Link CROS in my left. For those unfamiliar with CROS, it is a small hearing aid-like device that that I wear on my non-implanted left ear. It picks up sound from that side and delivers it to the sound processor on my right. This way, I can hear from all around me. I am currently attending Northern Arizona University, and come this Fall, I will be a sophomore.

Hearing the Full Range of Sound with Two Cochlear Implants

Thu, 18 Feb 2021  by  Gretchen Flynn

My hearing journey began on a blistering cold day in January, 1995. That morning, when I awoke to a bizarre ringing sensation in my ears, it was easy to write the experience off to my being pregnant with twins and caring for my three-year-old son. Things went downhill after my twins were born. I started having trouble hearing the stove timer, the phone, and even my husband.

Holiday Gift Guide for Your Teen with Hearing Loss

Thu, 18 Nov 2021  by  Cecilia Zugaib

As kids grow, they might become more selective and develop their own personal taste.
This year, to help you with this daunting task, we have asked some teens and young adults with hearing loss what they would recommend. These are some of their ideas.

How a Cochlear Implant and Effective Communication Skills Saved My Career

Thu, 4 Nov 2021  by  Jack Clevenger

My hearing loss journey began when I was only one month of age and had a high fever of 105 degrees for three days. I was very fortunate to have survived this illness, but I was left with severe hearing loss in both ears. In the early 1950s, I received my very first hearing aid at age three and started attending a special oral school for children with severe hearing loss in Phoenix, Arizona.

How a mainstream school embraced our child and her cochlear implants

Fri, 13 Mar 2020  by  Helen Tinsman, M.S. CCC-SLP

Our daughter Emmy was born with a profound hearing loss. Hearing aids were providing very little benefit and we quickly realized we needed a better solution. Our family decided that the right fit for Emmy was to pursue a cochlear implant.

How Parents can Empower Teens in Their Hearing Journey

Thu, 1 Apr 2021  by  Cecilia Zugaib

If you are the parent of a teenager with hearing loss, you probably remember the beginning of the journey you embarked on when your child got diagnosed. You asked questions around speech recognition and development, you learned about hearing technology, you visited the audiologist, you equipped your child for school and extracurricular activities, and celebrated major milestones. Parents want the best for their children and inevitably remain their biggest advocates for life.

How to Determine the Cost of a Cochlear Implant for You

Thu, 24 Jun 2021  by  Rochelle Wyatt

One of the most commonly asked questions about cochlear implants is about how much they cost. Oftentimes, the assumption is that since hearing aids are so expensive, cochlear implants must be even more so. The assumptions and confusions are also fueled by the fact that finding a straightforward answer to the question is much harder than a simple Google search.

I Recently Got A Cochlear Implant. Here Is How It Went.

Thu, 4 Feb 2021  by  Daniel Layne

Before having cochlear implant surgery, you may have questions about what to expect for the surgery, recovery, and initial activation of the cochlear implant. Hundreds of thousands of people have undergone the procedure all around the world, and it is natural to experience a wide range of emotions, including the anxiety that may accompany any medical procedure and the fear of the unknown. Surgery is a necessary, but brief, part of the process, and the more you know about cochlear implant surgery and recovery, the more comfortable you will be with the process. Here are some frequently asked questions about cochlear implant surgery and recovery.

I’m a Mentor for Those with Hearing Loss. Here’s How I Tell Them to Face Unexpected Hearing Challenges

Thu, 18 Mar 2021  by  Peggy Ellertsen

On the morning of July 3, 2017, after decades of reliance on hearing aids to help me cope with progressive, debilitating hearing loss, I began a new chapter in my years-long hearing loss journey when I received a cochlear implant (CI) at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. The decision to take this step had been long in coming, my significant and stubborn ambivalence finally giving way to encouragement from my peers who had Cis, and my efforts to educate myself about them.

Intersection of Black Lives Matter and Hearing Loss

Tue, 11 Aug 2020  by  Rebecca Knill

It was a minute before curfew in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, and I was anxious to get home. It had been a surreal Memorial Day week in Minneapolis: Entire blocks of the city, including a police station and a branch office of my employer, were looted and burned to the ground. Thousands of protesters blocked the freeway, and the National Guard had arrived.

Is a Cochlear Implant the Right Hearing Loss Solution for Me?

Thu, 16 Jul 2020  by  Rachel Potvin

Hearing loss can cause feelings of isolation, frustration, depression, and fatigue. It has even been tied to cognitive decline. While one of the most common conditions in adults, hearing loss is also one of the most undertreated conditions. In fact, research indicates that less than 20% of those who could benefit from hearing devices such as hearing aids actually try them. There are many reasons why people do not seek treatment for their hearing loss. Denial, embarrassment, cost, and a lack of understanding of available solutions are just a few of them.

It Will All Be OK

Tue, 31 Mar 2020  by  Steve Cook

Our journey from learning our baby has hearing loss to hearing aids and cochlear implants.

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Life after a cochlear implant revision - How removing my child’s old CI changed her life for the better

Thu, 2 Dec 2021  by  Alison Devey, MA, LSLS Cert. AVEd

When we received word that my daughter’s cochlear implant (CI) was failing, we were terrified. What would it mean for our daughter? She has had been doing so well. She received her first CI at age two. At that time, there was a huge gap in her receptive and expressive language compared to other children her same age. Once she was implanted and receiving weekly auditory oral therapy, she took off. I could see the language gap closing!

How to choose a cochlear implant if you are a music lover

Wed, 8 Apr 2020  by  Michelle Leach

Leo Tolstoy said that “music is the shorthand of emotion.“ Listening to music is a universal experience that requires no shared understanding of words or language, and it can stimulate a full range of emotions such as joy, sadness, fear, excitement, and nostalgia.

Making the Impossible Possible

Thu, 7 Jan 2021  by  Marc Secall

As AB introduces Marvel CI, a new series of cochlear implant sound processors for adults and children, we caught up with Marc Secall, who was instrumental in the inception and development of the Marvel platform, to get the origin story on these innovations that feature many world’s-firsts.

Medication Took Away My Hearing. A Cochlear Implant Brought It Back.

Thu, 29 Oct 2020  by  Henry Jason Klein

Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, cochlear implants were just beginning to become more widely known. I remember seeing on television an elderly couple who were deaf and blind. She was given an implant and heard her husband's voice for the first time. This was my first impression of cochlear implants.

My 25-Year Hearing Journey With Advanced Bionics

Thu, 4 Mar 2021  by  KaRon Michael

I’m told that I’m one of the originals. In 1994, after a terrible auto accident, I was fighting to save my right leg. The doctors prescribed a particular medicine and told me there was a twenty percent chance that I would lose my hearing from using it. To a 19-year-old active college student, there was no choice at the time. But it turned out that I was indeed part of that twenty percent.

My Cochlear Implant Saved Me from Constant Fears of Worsening Hearing Loss

Thu, 13 May 2021  by  Tina Mancuso

I was 30 years old and on a cruise when I first noticed a problem with my hearing. A creaking sound woke me up one night, and when I rolled onto my right side, I could no longer hear it. When I returned home, a hearing test confirmed a severe hearing loss in my left ear, which did not improve with treatment. A conventional hearing aid did make everything louder, but it did not improve clarity, and I still had to rely on my right ear, for the most part.

My Journey into the Hearing World

Mon, 19 Apr 2021  by  Priya Jones

My name is Priya Jones. I was born in Calcutta, India. When my parents adopted me, I moved to the United States of America when I was seventeen months old. I have bilateral severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss, and I wear two cochlear implants (CIs) to help me hear and understand speech. I also have craniofacial syndrome, which for me, means a cleft lip and palate, a bifold nose, and partial vision impairment in one eye.

My Life as a Cochlear Implant Wearer in the Time of COVID-19

Mon, 11 May 2020  by  Natalie Cole

As an ER nurse and a mum of three young, energetic boys, I know how important it is to maintain social distancing to support our medical systems during this pandemic. Everyday activities are being adapted, especially for me as a cochlear implant wearer. It’s been pretty crazy at our house, but that doesn’t mean the fun has stopped.

Reclaiming My Life with Two Cochlear Implants

Fri, 1 Oct 2021  by  JinMing Zhang

When I was 21 and in college, I suffered a sports injury. As a part of the treatment, the school doctor gave me gentamicin, a drug that I found out later was ototoxic and can cause permanent hearing loss. At first, I noticed the ringing in my ears. But by the time my hearing was tested, I was diagnosed with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss that sloped down to 70 dB in the higher frequencies.

Regenerating Hearing? Yep, AB’s Working on It.

Thu, 27 May 2021  by  Patrick Boyle, PhD

Since its founding, AB has been guided by a passion for improving hearing through innovation in medical technology. To this day, this passion drives us to look beyond cochlear implant devices, and invest in scientific research, to foster better understanding of the human ear, and to help usher in a time when hearing loss can be repaired as easily as a scraped knee.

How our Normal-Hearing Kids Became Their Sister’s Best Teachers on her Journey to Hearing

Thu, 3 Sep 2020  by  Salma Hassan Khider

As a newborn, our little angel Nora wasn't given any hearing tests, and she and I were discharged from the hospital soon after her birth. As days and months passed, we noticed that she had poor eye contact and wasn't responding to our calls and to hearing her name. By the time she was six months old, we took her to the doctor. We were hoping that everything was okay, but instead, what we were afraid of happened. After many tests, she was diagnosed with bilateral, severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss. It was a shock for us, but that was God's will.

Stand Up and Speak Up—Advocating for My Child with Hearing Loss

Thu, 17 Sep 2020  by  Steve Cook

As a parent of a child with hearing loss, I heard the terms “advocacy” and “self-advocacy” almost from day one. I had no idea what that really meant at the time of Miles’ diagnosis. My uneducated perception of being an “advocate” was someone who protested for the rights of others. Was I going to be petitioning city hall? Did I need to print pamphlets? Well, maybe, but advocacy for (possibly) yourself, your child, and the eventual lessons of self-advocacy are steps to ensuring a rich and rewarding life ahead.

Taking On Hollywood With My Cochlear Implant

Thu, 4 Jun 2020  by  J.P. Giuliotti

J.P. Giuliotti is an accomplished American actor who also happens to be a cochlear implant recipient. His most recent role was on HBO’s hit show Room 104, where his CI was prominently visible, making him one of the first representatives of CI recipients on popular television. He shares with us how hard work and persistence lead him to success, despite this perceived disability.

Hearing with Two Cochlear Implants Really Is Better than One

Thu, 29 Apr 2021  by  Maggie Zhang

When our son Si Chen was born, he failed the newborn hearing screening. By the time he was three months old, it was confirmed that he had severe hearing loss in both ears. There was no one else in our family who had hearing loss, so this diagnosis took us entirely by surprise.

Understand Speech Again with a Cochlear Implant

Wed, 23 Dec 2020  by  Jack Leisure

I first discovered my hearing loss in Germany when I was serving in the U.S. Air Force and was selected for a special duty assignment for the National Emergency Airborne Command Post (NEACP). This assignment, however, required a few prerequisite evaluations, one of which was a hearing test. After shipping our household belongings to the States and preparing ourselves for leaving Germany in two weeks, I received notification that my orders had been canceled because I had failed my hearing test.

Walking the Path Beside Them

Mon, 6 Jul 2020  by  Max Puplett

I’ve always had a deaf mother. When I was growing up, her hearing loss has defined our relationship, whether directly or indirectly. As a kid, it was confusing as to why other kids could talk to their parents whenever they wanted, but I had to fight over background noise or repeat myself multiple times, only to eventually be told that I should try repeating it later when there was no background noise.

What is a Cochlear Implant?

Thu, 12 Mar 2020  by  Julia Biedenstein, MS, LSLS Cert. AVEd

Treatments for hearing loss have come a long way in the past 25 years. But one thing that has not changed is that the two most successful options for treating hearing loss continue to be hearing aids and cochlear implants. These two solutions help people hear in very different ways.

What kind of hearing loss do I have?

Thu, 18 Jun 2020  by  Megan Sturm

Finding out that you have hearing loss can create a firestorm of questions in your mind. How did this happen? Will it get worse? Will I lose my hearing completely? Can hearing aids help me? What if hearing aids can't help me? These are all excellent questions, but one of the first questions your audiologist will answer for you is, “What kind of hearing loss do I have?”

Why a cochlear implant was the right choice for my spouse and our family

Fri, 13 Mar 2020  by  Kelvin Ellis

My wife Carol has had hearing loss most of her life. She now uses a bimodal solution, with a cochlear implant in one ear and a hearing aid in the other. As with many families where hearing loss plays a big part of everyday life, our story was one of making do and getting by until we couldn’t any longer.

Why I wish I had gotten cochlear implants sooner

Fri, 13 Mar 2020  by  Carrie A. Leising, MA

I received my first cochlear implant (CI) in 2013 in my left ear and in 2018 in my right ear. But I wish I had gotten them sooner. I learned that this is a feeling shared by most people with CIs. When I asked why they waited, they said it was because all the unknowns of a CI overwhelmed them when making this decision.

You Will Be Proud

Thu, 21 Jan 2021  by  Nirmeen Mohammad Al Natour

My spoiled little child Karim was born on December 10, 2012. He is my first child, and my pregnancy with him and his birth were among the most wonderful moments of my life. We didn’t suspect that he had a hearing problem until he was ten months old. At first, we were worried that Karim did not pay attention to us when we called his name. But the pediatrician informed us that this is normal. And when we decided to see a specialist doctor about it, he told us the same thing.

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Stories and articles written by CI experts, CI recipients, or parents of children with CIs, about their hearing journey and helpful articles on hearing loss and cochlear implant technology.

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