Auditory Implant Service

“I have got more back than I thought would be possible”

We heard from one of our service users, Barbara, about her journey to sound with an EAS cochlear implant. EAS stands for electroacoustic stimulation and is the combination of a cochlear implant with an additional acoustic hearing aid which amplifies low frequency sounds.

BH and Amy EAS

“I suppose with hearing aids, you just get on with things thinking your hearing is the best it can be at this point, adapting your life around it, without knowing you’re doing that. You find a way of getting by, and you keep going. I could hear some things well, especially low and loud sounds, so I could hear my grandson cry when I was holding him, but I didn’t think I’d be able to hear him if I put him down, so when I was babysitting I would have to sit next to his cot so I could see. After my husband passed away, things became more of a struggle, because there was no-one there that I could pass the phone on to, or ask them what the waiter was saying in a restaurant.

I’m hearing things I haven’t heard for 25 years – things which I’d forgotten I couldn’t hear! I’ve always been a very positive person, but it has made such a difference. It isn’t perfect, of course, but it’s 100% better, and it’s when I hear odd, everyday sounds I realise I have got more back than I thought would be possible.

I can hear birds, I can hear the parking signal on the car, I can hear a knock at the front door. It’s such a relief to be able to deal with everyday communication myself without having to rely on other people to help, or having to send an email and hope for the best. If I need an answer to a question, I can pick up the phone and speak to the right person to get it sorted out. My sons live abroad, and I can have normal phone conversations with them and their families on a regular basis.BV7A8747

I travel a lot more now, I just climbed Machu Picchu! I was with my son in the forest on Vancouver Island – he heard something and said “I suppose you can’t hear that, Mum”. I said “I can! It’s a woodpecker!” and it was!

I started off thinking that any improvement would be help, but I’m really pleased that I have the implant. I do wish I’d known about it before, and had the implant earlier – at the point where my local audiology team knew that hearing aids weren’t going to help me any more with hearing high frequencies. But I feel very lucky to have had it now, and I’m looking forward to the future.”