May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. In recognition, we’re sharing stories about people achieving better hearing through prevention, regular monitoring and treatment. Hearing loss does not have to stop you from living the life you want. Read about bilateral cochlear implant recipient Velda M.
Velda M. was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease after experiencing severe episodes of vertigo. Meniere’s disease is an inner ear disease that typically affects one ear and can cause pressure or pain in the ear, severe cases of dizziness or vertigo, hearing loss and a ringing or roaring noise, also known as tinnitus. Here is her story during this year’s Better Hearing and Speech Month.
Her debilitating vertigo episodes were happening every other week and lasted up to two days. When they slowed down, she realized she could no longer hear out of her right ear and received a Baha® device. Several years later, her other ear quit working. “I guess it was tired of doing all the work,” she said.
In 2013, Velda received a cochlear implant in March in her right ear and in September in her left.
Velda said, “Since my hearing basically disappeared over a weekend, it was kind of a no-brainer to get a cochlear implant. It was a leap of faith to get the second one. It has been quite a learning curve.”
Better hearing in work and life
After Velda lost her hearing and for the first couple of years with her cochlear implants, her life was very linear. She could only do one thing at a time, so multi-tasking was out of the question. She found work to be challenging and exhausting.
Velda upgraded to the Nucleus® 7 Sound Processor last year, and now has the same model in both ears. With the streaming capability with the iPhone®, Mini Microphone, and TV Streamer, “it’s as close to natural hearing as I remember,” she said. She finds talking on the phone, participating in work meetings (real time), visiting with friends, and going out to restaurants all more enjoyable.
Life with cochlear implants
Velda works full time and walks about five miles a day. The kitchen is her happy place, and she loves cooking and baking. When asked what she enjoys more now with her cochlear implants, she says “Just about everything – visiting with friends and family, definitely talking on the phone.” Velda says she also enjoys travel more since she can hear her surroundings.
“Since I got my cochlear implants, I found I am a much better listener and more in the present and focused. I don’t know where I would be or what I would be doing if they weren’t an option, but I sure am glad they are.”
Take action for Better Hearing and Speech Month
Better hearing can help you live your best life and Velda’s story is just one example. Find out more by visiting: www.soundsinevitable.com.