Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Two hearing aids vs. Bilateral Hearing

Two Hearing aids as compared to bilateral cochlear implants: There are virtually no benefits of continuing to wear the hearing aids when comparing the benefits of cochlear implants. Today’s cochlear implants technology is superior to hearing aids in every category as possible. Therefore, bilateral cochlear implants have huge advantage over the hearing aids, no question at all.

Noise: I can greatly hear better in very noisy areas such as bar, diners, and more. This is very impressive to me and many people told me that I am very different person since I am more responsive than I was with hearing aids. With bilateral hearing, I was able to “cut” and “slice” the echoes and noises across the room and just to hear a person talking in the crowd, just like focusing with telescope.

Speech: My speech has improved greatly, and I had no problems hearing others and speaking as well. I just realized that bilateral hearing helped me to clear out the confusion in understanding the spoken words! I rarely had any confusion understanding the words, even repeating my speech, which is very common with hearing aids. I plan to take speech therapy to greatly improve my new found bilateral hearing and my speech.

Telephone interaction: Wearing the hearing aids, I had to deal with several barriers using the telephones. One of the barriers is the electromagnetic interference from the cellphone. Another barrier using the landline phones is the feedback. Feedback is always constant and challenging when the handset and hearing aids gets too close. With cochlear implants, all the barriers are gone and all I need to do now is learning how to listen the caller. My wife and I are starting talking on the phone more and more than ever because my speech has more clarity and I can understand what she said. I prefer to use speakerphone mode because I can hear much better with my bilateral cochlear implants.

Social Interaction With Strangers: My experience of communicating with strangers are always awkward with hearing aids because I never understood what they said. Now I was able to understand the strangers’ speech better than before. Hearing aids does not help me to hear most critical sounds that speech produces such as /s/ and /sh/.

Family: I live in two-story house with no carpets, and I have a 13 month old daughter. With hearing aids, I recalled that there is so many echoes in the house and I was not able to hear my wife calling me downstairs. All has changed with bilateral implants that my house is very quiet so I was able to hear my wife calling me. One time I heard my baby talking downstairs, too. All and more experiences have assured me I am able to hear these critical sounds with bilateral hearing.

Environmental Surroundings: I recall many experiences that I had hard time hearing the source of the sounds by echolocationing. Now with my bilateral cochlear implants, I was surprised and impressed that I can echolocationing on the first day of bilateral hearing. All the sounds around me such as nature (birds singing, etc…), retail stores (squeaky carts, talking, echos are less distracting), driving (hearing cars around me, listening for 18 wheelers, motorcycles), and many more that I do take granted with bilateral hearing.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

My left ear


I am still continually adapting a new hearing in my left ear. It is only 5 months since first activation so some progress is made but not as fast as my dominant right ear did.

My left ear still has to learn to discriminate the distortions of sounds such as echo and noises. But I still can hear the voices in noisy environments, which is an very important progress. But I am still not able to understand these voices yet, so that is another challenge I need to work on.

But, I really like to be bilaterally and it does makes a lot of difference hearing with both ears.

Thanks for reading my blog!!!