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Untill recently we were unaware of the severity of Dad's hearing loss. While in his 20's, he worked around loud machinery and now combined with aging the hearing decline is severe enough to be considered a disability. Hearing aids did little good and were such a menace because of the dexterity required to maintain them. Next week, we are taking him to an audiologist that will evaluate him as a possible candidate for a cochlear implant. Any experiences, pro/con you can share with me would be helpful. We need to have real expectations

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The surgery was out patient and fairly noninvasive and his wound recovered quickly. Only used pain medication the first day, bandages fell off the first night after the surgery. When he came home after the surgery he was rather "high" (which we attributed to the anesthesia.) He felt so good that he was talking our ears off like and laughing and joking and positive! Actually kind of humorous! Kept reaffirming that He felt great!! By the next night, he ate a huge meal and this is when we realized we should have slowed him down. After eating, he got dizzy and felt nauseous and shaky. Luckily my sister who is a nurse recognized these symptoms of post surgery (anesthesia?). We put him in bed, kept his pulse, held his hand, played soft music, and made him rest all the next day. He slept quite a bit but after the initial nausea episode he was ok.

My biggest advice is not to expect big hearing change quickly. For us it has been a slower process than expected!

The update: He has been to the audiologist for several mappings since his surgery in August. Just yesterday, we are starting to see the difference in his hearing level. I was elated to notice that he did not make me repeat any comments during our half hour phone conversation yesterday. This major when compared to giving up after 10 minutes of repeating everything before giving up!!!

Good beginning to compare experience of others so you get ideas of what you might experience. Pray about it and make a peaceful decision.
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How much of a "surgery" is it? Some members of my family do not believe any surgery is worth my dad having anesthesia again.
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I have a dear friend who got an implant at 84 and everyone around her was delighted, but not as much as her. She tells me that you must have some hearing in one ear. Good luck. Enjoy. I hope it happens
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After very careful consideration my mom had the implant put in last Wednesday and things are going alright. Not as good as I hoped, but I recognize she is 89 and it is more difficult to bounce back. I'm certain this is a difficult time for her mentally too, as she is really out of the hearing loop during this recovery week. No hearing in the left (implanted) ear and very poor hearing in the right ear even with a hearing aid. Using a wipe board is helpful. Thursday she will have her doctor's appointment and if all is well implant will be activated. Fingers crossed.
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Teaka,
Well it is going very slowly for my Dad. The surgery was easy and recovery quick although it caught up to him and he needed to slow down together extra sleep. He claims he is hearing better every day but we are not seeing it. Of course, I watched too many dramatic utube videos that made it seem miraculous! Not happening this way for Dad. I have wondered about the mental decline and their effects on his adaptation. (A good question for her doctor). He has not given up hope as he is willing to give it 6-9 months as spelled out in all the literature, and it has only been 2 months, so we keep plugging away. Let's keep each other posted. FYI: my dad chose the Med-El device and will get the Rondo next week.
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My mother is 89 and has been recommended and approved for a cochlear implant with surgery scheduled for the end of October. How did things turn work out for your dad? I can find very little information about this much older age group. I'm being told this is the best route to go, but I have some reservations. She is a happy and active person (volunteers 2 x week) and willing to learn. She does have short term memory and some processing issues (some may be related to hearing loss?). Any advice is most welcome!
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Good news; my Dad qualified for the cochlear implant! We also got him a captioned telephone that the audiologist recommended. He will get the implant the first week in August and everyone is so happy for this life hanging event!
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Thank you all for your personal accounts I am so grateful to you for sharing!! Our journey starts tomorrow and your answers and experiences have reassured me we are on the right track. An additional reason for seeking this treatment has to do with helping my dad out of his isolation due to hearing loss. My mother and he live in assisted living together but she is no longer able to speak, walk, or be a companion. She has a full time caregiver living with them. Married 60+ years he depended on her for socialization. We took him to group sessions, activities and even counseling to help him with the guilt and sadness and despair he deals with but he can't benefit because he can't hear the advice, consolation, instructions of others around him. God bless all of you with many more years of life among the hearing improved! Thank you again.
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If your father qualifies for an implant, age should not deter him. 90 year olds have been helped.. Most important is his desire for better hearing, willingness to have surgery and make the effort needed to adjust to new sound. Altho there are no guarantees, it is a worthy gamble because a very high percentage of implantees get significant benefits.

Nearly deaf and limited to a text telephone (called TTY for the deaf), my first implant in 1996 saved my social life. In 2011, at age 75, I qualified for an implant on the other side. This time implantation was much easier---no over night hospital stay, minimal side effects from the surgery and anesthesia, no shaven head, healing of the incision faster so that I could be “hooked up” to the sound processor in little more than a week.

It’s important not to harbor expectations that the implant will restore hearing. But implants have given most of us the renewed ability to comprehend speech sounds, allowed us to converse more comfortably in many settings (background noise is still difficult) and to have a social life once again. Enjoying music is difficult but can happen with lots of practice. I now love listening to music although it’s different from music with normal hearing.

I hope your father gets an evaluation and am glad to answer questions Emily
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I’m 61 yrs old and have been wearing a Cochlear Implant for 2+ years on the left ear. I wore a hearing aid all my life prior to the implant. My hearing has got to the point that hearing aids were not giving me the ability to understand conversations and so I depend on lip reading tremendously. It has been awesome for me since being activated with the implant. After surgery, you will have no hearing in that ear while you are healing and depending on your doctor you will come back in 3 weeks to be activated. Some people either have one implant on one ear or 2 implants on each ear at the same time. The first week is mostly getting used to noise, a very noisy world. People may sound like robots or sounds of chimes in the conversation. Today I’m hearing sounds like a normal hearing person but I still need improvement on sentences. I get about 77% correct. Still a fabulous improvement and it will get better with time. I have heard other people older than me saying that getting the implant was a positive experience. Be sure you contact your medical insurance to keep them in the loop. Good luck to your Dad.
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I received a cochlear implant at age 77. Don't even think twice about it. It changed my life. After wearing hearing aids for about 35 years with diminishing success, I finally made the leap to a cochlear implant. All the things I was missing have now returned to a great degree. Those include using the telephone, listening to TV and Movies (rather than reading the captions), having a conversation in a restaurant or at a party, hearing bird songs, being aware of noises my car makes when it needs attention, boiling water (I burned so many pots when I couldn't hear). So many more that I can't recount them all. My implant worked from the time I was switched on a couple of weeks after surgery. The sound quality improved over the next several years and now it just seems "normal" to hear everything. I just have one ear implanted. I'm told that having both would improve my sound reception and that may be true. That most likely is true. I'm just procrastinating because I'm happy with where I am. An additional benefit was that the tinnitus in the implanted ear was gone after the first 24 hours. It remains gone!
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I don't know of any elderly people getting it but agree it would be a great boost to ones quality of life. My daughter's gf developed meningitis as an infant and she lost hearing in one ear. 3 years ago she got a cochlear implant. She loves it!! She did have a headache during the first month after the surgery but has had no problems since. Good luck, I hope it works out for your dad!
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