Just a little update for you all regarding my latest bout of SSHL in my left ear;
As you will know, I have had three rounds of (very painful) steroid injections into my middle ear to try and regain some of the hearing that I lost – my last injection was on Friday 5th February but before I had the injection I had an updated audiogram which showed that there had been no improvement from the steroids.
On Friday I went back for a further consultation with the surgeon who performed my operation. He confirmed that in cases of SSHL, aside from steroid injections there is little else that can be done – apparently you should notice some improvement within 24 hours of the injections so that doesn’t bode well for me at all. It is now pretty much a given that I won’t regain any hearing in my left ear.
The good news is that it cannot affect my implant in any way.
However, it means the tinnitus is now a constant feature of my life, even with the implant in use.
Unfortunately because of the NICE guidelines in the UK, adults are unable to have bilateral cochlear implants, unless there is a further sensory loss such as blindness. My consultant has said on numerous occasions that he has been working hard with other CI surgeons in the UK to change the guidelines as they know how much two implants could benefit those with profound hearing loss. He even said I would “fly” with two implants but sadly this is just something that we have to come to terms with.
I hadn’t realised how far my hearing could have decreased; within two years I have gone from hearing sounds & voices (unaided) to having a near total loss in both ears, after 25 years of my hearing not changing, it has come as a great shock.
On a positive note; I am hugely grateful for medical science in that I have been able to regain hearing through my implant and that it has hugely improved my life from what it was two years ago.
25th February is National Cochlear Implant Day and I will have a post for Hearing Link UK on the positive effects of CI’s, don’t forget to check their Facebook page & website for the full post!