After struggling with her single-sided profound hearing loss, Kim had hearing aids that, over time, did not help her. When Kim narrowed in on a bone conduction solution, she found the Cochlear™ Osia® System. After her activation appointment, she was impressed with how clear everything sounded. Read about her journey back to sound:

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“My name is Kim and I live in central New York. I am a portrait photographer married to an amazingly supportive husband. We have two teenage boys and a sweet rescue dog.

I have single-sided profound hearing loss with extremely poor word recognition in my right ear. It began in 2011 when I had the flu and woke with tinnitus and a plugged ear feeling. My doctor thought it was just congestion from being sick and over the next few months, I was given several different types of decongestants which never helped.

Aid for my single-sided profound hearing loss

A picture of Kim, a woman with single-sided profound hearing lossEventually I was referred to a specialist where it was determined that I had suffered a hearing loss which was mild to moderate. Within a year, I was using a hearing aid on the right side. Fast forward to April 2019 when I became completely unable to hear in that same ear. At first, I thought maybe the battery in my hearing aid needed replacing, but quickly realized it was much worse. After a round of oral steroids and 3 rounds of intratympanic steroid injections, my worst fear had come true…my hearing was not returning, and I was diagnosed with sudden sensorineural hearing loss in one ear.

I met with my audiologist to determine my options. After doing an in-office demo of the Cochlear™ Baha® Attract on a Baha Softband, I realized a bone conduction implant was the option I preferred. I sought out a second opinion just to be sure nothing had been overlooked and just a few months later, was scheduled for surgery. The surgery was delayed and rescheduled twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and by the time the hospital was finally able to perform elective surgeries, the Osia System was approved.

Surgery and activation for my Osia System

Kim, a woman with single-sided profound hearing loss, with her Osia SystemI had surgery in early October 2020, about 18 months after I lost my hearing. The recovery was hard for me, mostly because I simply could not get in a comfortable sleeping position. Within a few weeks, though, I felt much better and was able to sleep on the surgery side without pain. Neck stiffness lasted a few months, though.

Activation day was early November 2020. Adjusting to hearing with the Osia System has been pretty easy for me. I think partly because I had previously had a hearing aid and had a better sense of what to expect. But I was really impressed with how clear everything sounded. Words that I previously struggled to identify were no longer a problem. It was amazing to have the audiologist speak to me, and I could actually hear and understand her perfectly without needing to ask her to repeat herself.

Ready for the future of my hearing

Kim, a woman with single-sided profound hearing loss, with her husbandPrior to diagnosis, I had joined a few online groups to read about other peoples’ hearing journeys, product groups and hearing loss support groups. I also attended Cochlear’s online informational seminar and was happy to recognize one of the guests as someone from one of the groups I’m in. It was so helpful to learn about his experience and how happy he was with the decision he made to go ahead with the procedure.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions where I live, I don’t have much opportunity to gather with groups of people yet, but I am eager to see how well the Osia Sound Processor helps with determining who is speaking when I’m in a group. I am also looking forward to hearing how well it filters out the background noises. Hopefully I will get the opportunity to use the True Wireless™ Mini Microphone 2+ accessory at my first large family gathering later this year.”

Are you dealing with single-sided profound hearing loss and looking for a solution? The Osia System is new and an innovative option. Learn more here.

Cara Lippitt
Cara Lippitt is the Public Relations and Marketing Manager at Cochlear Americas. She is responsible for consumer marketing social media and blog content. Cara is inspired by the stories of the recipients that she is able to tell and the incredible journeys they have taken. Cara was born and raised in Colorado and adores the mountains, snow and the world of musical theatre.