Cochlear Implant Recipient
Do you have difficulty following conversations or struggle to hear in social situations? You’re not alone.
Hearing loss is common when we get older and affects one in three people over the age of 65.1 Hearing aids often help, but as hearing loss progresses, they are not always enough.
Elizabeth, a care worker from Surrey, found that in her late 40s she was struggling to hear. It impacted her family, work and social life. By age 51, she became profoundly deaf and could no longer hear even her own voice without wearing powerful hearing aids. She was left feeling isolated, even from her own family.
“It became tiring to keep up with a conversation. Often, I tuned myself out. This was difficult for me but also my children, partner, family and friends. I felt guilty because I was afraid they would think I wasn’t interested in what they were saying to me.”
What helped Elizabeth is a Cochlear implant, which she describes as “life-changing.” Unlike hearing aids, which only make sounds louder, a Cochlear implant can make sounds clearer.2,3 It consists of a small, internal implant that pairs with an external device that looks like a hearing aid.
Together, they provide a different way of hearing, bypassing the parts of the ear that no longer work.
Cochlear implants are available on the NHS for people with severe hearing loss who are unable to hear well with hearing aids.
Elizabeth knew of the potential benefits of a Cochlear implant because her mother received one at age 72 and, after talking to her audiologist, she was referred for hearing tests to ensure she was a suitable candidate.
I don’t have to focus all my attention on trying to hear what is being said, and I am told I smile more when I speak with others.
Improving daily life
Since receiving her implant, Elizabeth says her life has changed for the better. “I go to the cinema and concerts or outings I avoided before my implant. I can hear myself breathing, birds singing, my cat meowing, my oven timer and my doorbell.” Most of all, she feels reconnected with the people that matter in her life.
“I don’t have to focus all my attention on trying to hear what is being said, and I am told I smile more when I speak with others.”