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Five Reasons I Went All In With A Second Cochlear Implant

My Cochlear Implant JourneyI thought long and hard about whether I should get a second cochlear implant. But I’m glad I did.

We recently activated my second implant, and it’s as big a miracle as the first. In January I decided to go ahead if I qualified, and after several months of preliminary testing and insurance screening, I had successful implantation surgery on my left side on March 30. We activated the sound processor on April 14, and I could hear and understand speech immediately.

My hearing with the new cochlear implant is still not as good as on the other side with my first one, where my hearing has steadily improved in the nine months since we turned it on. But in the two weeks since activation of the left side, hearing with it has improved substantially. People’s voices, which initially sounded nasal or guttural, are starting to sound more normal. I’m hearing and identifying more high-frequency sounds. And I’m understanding speech and the TV and radio with it much better than at first. Best of all, together with my right ear, I’m hearing a full range of sound once again, in stereo. I feel more myself again. It’s truly amazing.

Even so, going ahead with the second implant was a major decision. [Read More…]

How Costco And The VA Drove U.S. Hearing Aid Market Growth In 2014

Hearing Review’s report on the 4.8 percent increase in 2014 U.S. hearing aid unit sales underscores the roles Costco and the Veterans Administration (VA) have played in driving the growth of the hearing industry. The report shows that Costco, the “big box” retailer, and the government-funded VA accounted for nearly a third of the more than three million units sold in the U.S. last year, with both channels growing three-to-five times faster than sales through independent audiologists. What makes Costco and the VA different from private independent sellers, whose growth rate was less than three percent? Lower prices, for one thing. But the fact that both the VA and Costco are delivering better products than ever before may be even more important. [Read More…]

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