"‘Switch on’ day was wonderful and going out into the world again with almost normal sound levels was great. Getting used to hearing my own footsteps and other small sounds again was amazing."
My hearing loss didn’t creep up on me, it was rather sudden, the result of having a small brain tumour removed in August 2007. Before the surgery I could hear, both sides and when I woke up I was totally deaf on my left side.
At first it was not too bad, having almost normal hearing one side it was not a silent world at all, but a world where too much sound just meant confusion and when I returned to work I began to struggle to keep up, especially in large classrooms.
At one of my pre-operation checks it was suggested I should consider a Baha after my surgery and I made enquiries to find out what a Baha was. After the operation I was offered the opportunity to speak with a Baha volunteer and it was she who made me realise that a Baha could help me and my GP referred me to my local implant clinic.
My hearing loss is difficult to quantify. In a quiet place in conversation with one person, I have no problems, but in a group in a noisy environment I really struggled. My Baha was a revelation, it came with a telecoil that means I can use hearing loop systems at home and in public places, at times I can hear concerts and films better than some people with normal hearing.
The procedure to fit the implant is not too traumatic. ‘Switch on’ day was wonderful and going out into the world again with almost normal sound levels was great. Getting used to hearing my own footsteps and other small sounds again was amazing. The audio adapter is really something else, it means that an external source such as an MP3 player can be plugged directly into my Baha – it may not be stereo but I can experience music as never before!
Negotiating the maze of the NHS and deciding if this was going to be the right course for me was not easy. I am no shrinking violet, but sometimes the task was a bit daunting. Having now met other Baha users through volunteering I can see that my experience was not unique. At times I felt alone and confused about what to do and where to turn. A Baha may not be the answer for everyone, but it certainly helps me, if I can help guide someone else through the maze and benefit as I have, then I am very happy to be part of the Cochlear Volunteer Programme.
The information on this website is for educational purposes, and is not intended to replace medical advice. Please consult a hearing healthcare professional to diagnose or treat a hearing or health problem.