Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Esteem, A Fully Implantable Hearing Aid, Gets FDA Approval

Today the FDA approved the first completely implantable hearing aid, which is designed to treat sensorineural hearing loss.

According to the press release and this LA Times blog post, the Esteem is a hearing system - with a sound processor, sensor and driver which work in concert to assist the patient with their specific hearing loss. The device has no external components. There are some possible side effects from the surgery necessary to implant the device, which can include facial paralysis and taste disturbance. (I'm not an expert on cochlear implants, but from what I've read they can also cause the same problems due to the surgery.)

The Esteem is for adults 18 and over and can be used to treat stable sensorineural hearing loss - I guess progressive loss wouldn't make you a good candidate for the surgery. Your inner ear has to have normal anatomy and, according to the article, "[a] patient's ability to understand speech using Esteem should be similar to that of conventional hearing aids."

So it sounds like the Esteem is an alternative to hearing aids. I can see the desire for a hearing aid that is completely hidden, but I can't see the same subset of people who want an "invisible" aid being willing to go under the knife for surgery to get it, when normal hearing aids would assist them just as much. The FDA article says that 93% of the people who got the implant in the clinical trial "scored equal to or better than their pre-implant hearing aids on a speech intelligibility test." I'd be interested to know how many of them were equal and how many were better, because I don't know if I'd get surgery just to have hearing the same as it always was with aids.

This really is pretty cool. To be able to have a hearing device that is unnoticeable from the outside is a neat achievement for science. There are many ways to approach the subject. For example, some people who wear aids like to make them prominent so that people will know they have a loss and adjust what they do accordingly. The Esteem would mean no one would have an idea you had a loss unless you told them.

It's definitely an interesting advancement. I'm looking forward to learning more about it as more people get the implant.

92 comments:

  1. Seems like one major advantage would be not having to wear ear molds! I know someone who could really benefit from something like this. Born deaf, allergic to most all ear mold materials, doesn't qualify for a CI. Sending this along to her. Thanks. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. don't treat progressive hearing loss? most of the time sensory is progressive so wtf?/?/??

      Delete
    2. why don't it treat progressive when most the time sensory is progressive wtf up with that? im going deaf !!! they wont help me im poor anyway .

      Delete
    3. @ <a href = "http://www.faceme.wordpress.com/>Kim Ward</a>: CI's are indicated when there is "little to no benefit" from hearing aids; and in fact one indication for them, even if the patient does not qualify audiologically, is the inability to tolerate earmolds (especially if they trigger life-threatening infections).

      Delete
    4. Other major advantages are: Can sleep with them, can shower with them, can swim with them. My daughter was born with a hearing impairment and is looking into these. Those were three really positives for her. Partial paralysis is a real negative.

      Delete
  2. Yes defitnitly not wearing moulds would be the positive side. This is an intersting post. I don't know though if I'd have it though.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This sounds cool! Now, the question is will the insurance company treat it as a prosthetic or a hearing aid coverage?

    I might just go for it...will need to do some more research, put that in one of my better ear and a C.I. in one of my worst ear and just maybe, I might have the best of everything? I wonder is it removable should stem cell cure happens?

    Candy

    ReplyDelete
  4. Insurance companies won't pay for it. Cost is around 35K. Out of my reach, the company that makes the Esteem has a payment plan. I find it rather strange this hearing device was invented over in England and has been installed successfully for almost 10 years. So how come under national health the patients didn't have to pay, but it's released in America and we have to pay for it. Seems unfair really. I'd really like to have the implant as I suffered with sudden hearing less about 5 years ago and now have to wear hearing aids. I can't sleep in them which is scary because once I take my aids out, I hear nothing. With esteem they stay in which would be really nice. Also you can swim with them. Only problem is I don't have 35K to pay for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because the UK has socialized healthcare - and we don't. Cracks me up that people in the U.S. don't want to do this because it's * gasp! * socialism. Well what, exactly, do they think Social Security and Medicare programs are? Right, they're social government programs.

      Delete
  5. They're about $30K and you have to put $15K down but you can finance the rest over a period of 3 or 4 years. However, the battery needs to be replaced every 4.5 - 9 years (depending mainly on whether or not you sleep it turned on), and this procedure, while minor, costs $6500. However, you do get any new upgrades at that time. The procedure is reversible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really? How long does one have to wait for the implant in the UK? As long as a woman in the UK has to wait for breast cancer treatment? Ask the families that buried their loved one waiting for it.

      Delete
  6. This device was invented in the USA, not England.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The aesthetics is a plus but I was intrigued by the fact that the person would hear more clearly. My daughter hears amplified noise. This device is touted to make the sound clear.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I wonder if this device would help people that have a 90 percent hearing loss and nerve deafness. I've won hearing aide for 49 years, have had progressive loss. Was a candidate for cohlear implant, but didn't want to risk it cuz some people don't like them and than you are stuck! Beside you still have to have that metal thing against the hear. Not alway guaranteed that you don't have to read lips anymore and can hear on a normal phone.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Every manufacturer says their device will amplify speech, not noise. If this device did any better than the others, it would be the only device on the market. There are only a handful of people even doing this device, which makes me think there is a lot of hype for something that is largely untested by the public. I'd wait a while and see what kind of results people get over time. Remember the Songbird? Lots of marketing hype, lots of wild claims, and no one even sells them!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Does it stop tinnitus??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, but I can assure you that it can cause tinnitus though. Foreign object in the ear = tinnitus.

      Delete
  11. Since the FDA approval, has Medicare approved for payment?

    ReplyDelete
  12. If there had been extensive research gone into the device here in the United States, then yes perhaps this would account somewhat for the baron robber cost of $35,000. However as it was developed more than ten years ago in Britain under the British National Health Plan, all paid for by the public over there in their N.H. taxes, why the rip-off price here in the U.S.A.?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Alexandeer: That is patently FALSE: Envoy Medical was founded by my friend, implant engineer Ted Adams in 1996. In fact they received their funding via venture capital. They performed some of the R&D over in England and got TÜV approval for the CE marque because of the bureaucratic hassles of the FDA, and also because of institutional review boards at American universities.

      Delete
  13. I think this is a nice thing. Not having to have those ear molds. I am glad with the new innovation.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Blessed to Hear says...

    My mother, my wife, my pastor and my best friend are all very hard of hearing. It It was driving me cookoo until I made a decision: I began to realize it was more difficult for them then it was for me; so, here was my opportunity to specifically ease the frustration and discomfort to four people I loved dearly (actually five including myself). (1) I decided to stop acting irritated every time I had to repeat and repeat, and instead tried sincerely to help them understand. They were suddenly comforted by not being made to feel they were creating a problem; and I was enriched within because I knew it was really helping their day. (2) I began praying for them and others with hearing loss--others less fortunate than I.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish some people could be as understanding. It hurts when some people say, "Never mind." or "Forget it." and drop the conversation cold when I couldn't hear...

      Delete
    2. I agree with you. I have been 90% deaf since birth. And I know how it feels. Especially when hanging out with friends and a funny joke is being said that I didn't catch the first time around. I automatically kill the mood when I ask to repeat and they don't care to and say "never mind" or "forget it." I like to laugh too, perhaps!

      Delete
  15. I have friends who have a hearing problem and he is using hearing aid. That news is very good news especially to a people like my friend.

    hearing loss

    ReplyDelete
  16. Just because it was developed in England doesn't mean that the British National Health Plan pays for it. They will pay for hearing aids but this advanced technique is payed out of pocket or by a secondary health plan, not the British National Health Plan. This is a proceedure for people who can aford it, the rest of us get hearing aids.

    ReplyDelete
  17. how nice it would be to not worry or be late to work because my hearing aid batt died in mid night, or to be around water activities and hear as well, or even shower with my lover and be able to hear and not have something squeal with feedback when hugging, kissing, or snuggling ... some things others take for granted.

    ReplyDelete
  18. An individual who suffers from hearing impairment would be delightful once this is implanted to them. From these, it can help them to make their life much convenient and normal.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Any place where they are inserted for less money? It would hardly be worth it for a 78 year old but to be able to hear for the next ten years of so would bring meaning to my live and others.
    My husband and I live on social security and it is impossible to pay from that.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Can't we get the cost of these down? How great it would be to spend the next ten years hearing like everyone else. Hearing aids do not have any effect in a group or where there is noise background. Please help me? I live in Utah and know of no one who performs such surgery. More information locally would be appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Folks,

    Has anyone had the implant and did not have a good experience with it? I would love to hear your comments. The test group who recieved an implant as part of the FDA approval is very small relative to the complexity of the surgery. Those who are available to speak with are selected by Envoy Medical. Consequently, because most all of them have had successful results make their response biased.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I was in test group and want to have mine removed. Procedure is not entirely reversible as originally told. A bone in the inner ear is cut during the implant process and it would need to be reconstructed. My main issues have been I cannot turn loud enough without getting feedback and also I have been experiencing non stop 24/7 tinnitus in my operated ear for several months now. Think tea kettle ringing in your ear all the time - not pleasant. Anyhow I just do not get the full benefit because I get lot of feedback (similar to hearing aid it has high pitched whistle that is what I mean by feedback). Ear pressure in your ear is a tricky thing too - eating or even lying down to sleep changes your ear pressure and the device has complications from this. It is too bad I think Envoy has something that can help a lot of people it just did not work for me as well as I had hoped and now I just wish I never did it. Good luck.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for te response. I'm looking at getting the implant. It is good to see information on both sides to help with my decision.

      Delete
  22. I think it is helpful. I have a mild/mod hearing loss in my left hear and no loss in my right. When I am in crowds, in a restaurant or at the lunch table in the teachers lounge I can not understand what people are saying.

    bte hearing aid scottsdale az

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am thrilled to find this blog for my son's sake and hope I can get some advice on some products from those who have used them. He is going out of the country and wears hearing aids for profound hearing loss. I am trying to locate a smoke alarm loud enough to wake him (his loss is the higher pitch sounds - so something loud in the lower pitch he is more like to hear). We tried the flashing lights and he slept right through it and the bed vibrator was a small device in his bed which moved out of place and didn't wake him. I am also wondering, besides the smoke alarm, if anyone has found a wristwatch that vibrates strongly enough to wake in lieu of an alarm clock? Anyone happy with
    something they are using?

    ReplyDelete
  24. The new technology that is coming out for people who are hearing impaired is just amazing. Hearing Aids Scottsdale AZ

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have a fairly sever hearing loss (about 65 db loss). I am going to get the Esteem implant soon I hope. I live in Colorado and there are no ENT doctors that perform that implant here. I will be going to San Jose, CA for the surgery. I am so frustrated with hearing aids. I miss out on so much if there is any noise in the room. I will continue with this blog to let you know how it goes.
    KG in CO

    ReplyDelete
  26. so, is it waterproof? If so, to what depth?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Glad to see this information.its very useful for eneryone.thanks for sharing this post.
    Hearing Aid

    ReplyDelete
  28. I am pretty sure that the procedure to replace the batteries is not really "minor" since it requires general anesthesia. I am also pretty sure that the procedure is not "reversible", since conventional hearing aids will no longer work after this procedure, in case you decide to go back. Battery life is fairly short if you use them constantly, longer if you conserve the use by turning them off at night. Either way, there is a lot I would want to know before I took that step.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I have brain and spine tumor, so I have MRIs every four months. I have severe hearing loss from radiation. I am deaf on the left side, and am now a candidate for cochlear implant because they make one that holds the 'magnet' in a headband, and can be removed to have the MRI done. There is no mention, I'm assuming it uses steel/metal parts, and is therefore not possible for someone such as me. Does anyone know? or know where to find the information? I've poked around but didn't find anything remotely close to answering the question.

    ReplyDelete
  30. The answer to the comment on Feb 23, 2011 is that MRI is not possible after this implant. The web site for the Esteem is envoymedical.com where you can get this info.
    Also I asked the Envoy team about the reversible option of this procedure and was told that they did devise a reversible procedure as was required for FDA approval. This came from an Envoy employee, so how good the reversible procedure is, I don't know.

    I am having this implant next month and have done research on it.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have this procedure scheduled for April. The cost is $30,000 and I just found out the cost for battery replacement is $6000. It is required to have a CT scan of your head to make sure you have enough room for the implanted sound processor. The CT scan is included in the $30,000 charge. You usually do not need to spend the night in the hospital, so this would be considered an out patient surgery. If the doctor does think you need to spend the night, that is not included in the $30,000 charge.
    They usually implant the ear with the poorest hearing.
    I sincerely hope this works for me, since I have been so frustrated with my hearing aid performance. What I am looking for is improvement in hearing in noisy environments and on cell phone.

    I will post on this site the results after activation, which will be in June 2011.

    Kay

    ReplyDelete
  32. Kay:

    Thank you so much for your updates.

    I am also thinking about going for Esteem but would like to hear unbiased opinions from patients.

    So I am looking forward to read your updates in June / July and wish you the very best with the surgery.

    Olivier

    ReplyDelete
  33. This is Kay.
    I had my Esteem implanted on April 12 in San Jose, CA by Dr. Michael Murray. The surgery lasted 4 hours. I was able to go home (actually to my son's home) about 1-2 hours after surgery. The pain from the implant was not bad, but I did have a BIG headache. I did not fly back home until 2 days after surgery, which is what I would recommend. My post surgery symptoms were fatigue and headaches. The next patient might have completely different symptoms.

    It took a good week to feel better, but now 10 days past surgery I am returning to aerobics classes (toned down a bit).

    The doctor said the surgery went "great", so that is reassuring.

    I am hopeful for the results of the device turn on in mid June, so wish me luck. If you have more questions, you can email me at kay.green169@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. good luck kay can't wait to hear how you got on

    ReplyDelete
  35. I had the Esteem turned on last Monday (June 6, 2011). I am thinking it helped a little over my hearing aid, but not lots. The left ear that I had the Esteem implanted had a severe (85 db) hearing loss and the Esteem can only do so much. They say it should get better over the next few months, so I should be patient. When I had the surgery, there was debate if I should have my good (right) ear or bad (left) ear implanted. I think if they had implanted my right ear, I would have had better results.

    As far as MRI is concerned, I asked the Dr and he said that they say you can't have MRI after Esteem because they don't know the effects. He said he did have a couple of patients that did have an MRI after Esteem with no ill affects.

    If you want more info, you can email me at kay.green169@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. Wow, Kay, thank you for posting your results. I look forward to hearing if it got better after a few months use.

    I am an audiologist and I like to be able to tell people about their options. An implantable hearing aid certainly wouldn't be MY first choice for me, my family, or anyone I know, but I understand why people look into it. I just hope their expectations aren't too high. All people with hearing loss have trouble hearing speech in background noise and I don't see, based on what I've read about the technology, how this device would change that. We fit LYRIC hearing aids at my office and we have had satisfied patients. It is a hearing aid that is placed against the eardrum and is replaced with a new one every 2-3 months. It is invisible and if you are a candidate, the sound can be quite good. This, to me, would seem a very viable alternative to an actual implant, although only about 20% of our patients are candidates so that puts a limit to its versatility.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Kay...I too am cautiously looking forward to hearing about your ESTEEM journey. I understood with my research that your brain basically has to now learn how to hear all over with the new device in place. Since your hearing level is now increased your brain will now have to learn the new sounds & associate them correctly which can take several months. This is at least how I understood it. I have nerve deafness, more profound on the left, at approx. 48% loss. Like you, I have struggled for years with the traditional hearing aids. I hope that things improve over time for you!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Susanna, I am curious about your statement regarding the limitations of the type of patients that may benefit from the LYRIC hearing device. What type of patient DOES qualify for the LYRIC? Or should I ask what type of hearing loss does it work best for?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Kay--

    I am considering Esteem. Please update. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Kay,
    My husband is considering an Esteem implant. We are very interested in hearing about how you are doing now. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I am also considering an Esteem implant. I've read all the information on Envoy's web site, and have attended their seminar. It sounds amazing, but I've been hesitant to make the final commitment. The next step is a leap of faith. I'd love an update from you, Kay. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I wonder if Kay is alright. I have not seen her respond here. Perhaps she has given up this blog?

    ReplyDelete
  43. Everyone, please remember, Doctors are also in business. It is their job to sell you what you want. That is the way our system operates to a very large degree both in the US and throughout the world. Be patient. Let the people with money be the test subjects. Success or failure will soon follow. And hopefully the price will come down as well.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Everyone, please remember, Doctors are also in business. It is their job to sell you what you want. That is the way our system operates to a very large degree both in the US and throughout the world. Be patient. Let the people with money be the test subjects. Success or failure will soon follow. And hopefully the price will come down as well.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hi all
    This is Kay. I did make a post about a week ago. I will repost it now and hope it gets approved.

    I went for the one month post turn on Esteem adjustment. My hearing test improved 5db from about 40db to 35 db, which is not up to normal level. I also had word recognition test done and here are the results. My word recognition with the hearing aid at 70db was 46%, with the Esteem it rose to 80%, which is significant. What I am noticing is that I can hear someone who is standing close to me with just my Esteem ear. It is not good enough to use just my Esteem ear to hear with but I think it is helping my hearing over all. I still struggle in noisy situations, but maybe not as much. Hopefully that will get better. I am also thinking that having the sound come through to your ear drum normally is what is helping with the background noise and that is what they claim on the website.
    When I was visiting relatives a couple said that they think I am definitely hearing better, which is good news. I am not hearing up to normal levels, so it is hard for me to judge how much better. Another thing I noticed is that I can hear and understand the TV.
    In answer to someone who wondered about the brain needing to learn to hear again, I did not find that a problem.
    Here is what I like about the Esteem:
    It is invisible. Nothing is in your ear canal. When someone hugs you, you don’t get feedback. You can go in water with it. Sound is clearer. All these are pluses but the procedure is so invasive that getting it for any of those reasons is not worth the risk. But if you are having difficulty with hearing aids, you could consider the Esteem.
    Again you are welcome to email me at kay.green169@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi, this is Kay again.
    I just wanted to update this post. Yesterday while at a noisy restaurant, I noticed that I was Turning my Esteem implant ear towards the person speaking to me and I was hearing pretty good. I will add this caveat that he was talking to me directly and close by. But still I think I was hearing clearer in noise with that ear. I am becoming more encouraged daily.
    I want to add again that my hearing loss is pretty severe in that ear( about 80db ) and someone with a less severe hearing loss could do much better.

    Kay

    ReplyDelete
  47. Kay - thank you very much for your comment! I did approve your comment from before, but I didn't know it hadn't shown up on the entry. Very odd, but thank you for submitting it again! I hope your experience helps the people who have commented on this post & those who find it in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thank you, Kay for some real time, honest input. I agree with you that the Esteem is rather invasive for the perks you mentioned.It is comforting to know that things like the Esteem are being worked on as alternatives to hearing aids. I find the bloggers here really nail the frustrations felt with hearing aids.Well Kay, I hope your hearing continues to evolve and you continue to feel encouraged.Thank you again for sharing....

    ReplyDelete
  49. Has anyone considered getting both ears implanted? Also as I understand these MID-EAR implants don't cater well to profound hearing loss for which CI is recommended. Can we hope a CI level performance with MEIs ever? I know CIs functionally replace the cochlear cells and hence the performance is supposedly far better. Another question - which one is more invasive - CIs or MEIs? Also which one has more severe aftereffects? Would appreciate response to anyone of these questions.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi This is Kay again
    I have started my own blog at http://kayesteemhearingimplant.blogspot.com
    and have copied the comments that I have made there. I will continue with my blog at that blogspot. Thanks to Megan for letting me post so many comments.
    For some reason my blog is not coming up in google searches.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Really, This is the great blog. I guess progressive loss wouldn't make you a good candidate for the surgery. Your inner ear has to have normal anatomy and, according to the article, "[a] patient's ability to understand speech using Esteem should be similar to that of conventional hearing aids.
    hearing aids

    ReplyDelete
  52. As a person who is age related hard of hearing, I really do not see why people who wear hearing aids seem to think there is a stigma to that. I am around a lot of Deaf/HOH people. Some with aids; others with Chochler devices. I see no problem with either although the chochler takes a little getting use to being around a person with dual implants and wires coming out of both sides of their head. I do not wear hearing aids as they would not really help all that much, so I was told, but I have learned Sign Language and also rely on a little lip reading. I would never have this procedure done. Also I know of two profound deaf individuals who finally gave up their Chochler devices because they felt they had heard enough "birds" in their lifetime and little else. My opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  53. As someone who has had a significant hearing loss occur only in the last three years (I'm 48 years old) I am excited to read about this procedure and I am hoping it is and option for me. I don't find hearing aids to be a stigma, but what I have found is that I no longer want to be in social situations and have become isolated and depressed. I no longer listen to music which I enjoyed a great deal prior to my hearing loss. My children are frustrated at having to repeat themselves over and over. I feel embarrassed to ask people to repeat themselves and do not take part in group conversations for fear of speaking off topic because I have misinterpreted what the topic really is. I have also found myself interrupting someone else because I didn't hear them speaking and I have been told I speak to loud at times. I am sad, mad, frustrated, and depressed. My friend saw information on the television and passed it on to me. I'm excited, I don't care how much it costs, and I will eagerly go there. Hearing aids hurt and don't do a good job at all for me. I truly hope this can be an option for me. Best wishes to everyone.
    TFP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. did you have the esteem put in already....I would suggest you try hearing aids, I know they are expensive but try it on a test basis with an audiologist before you do the surgery.

      Delete
    2. please see an audiologist before the spend the money for this surgery and try hearing aids that are more expensive than you really want to pay. My husband and the implant and does not like it.

      Delete
  54. Someone up the chain asked if the Esteem surgery is reversible. I asked that question myself -- because a CI destroys your residual hearing -- and Envoy told me that the surgery IS reversible and your hearing can be restored to its pre-surgery level.

    ReplyDelete
  55. The footplate of the stapes is locked to the hard ridge of the oval window in my ear. I wonder if that would have to be cleared first before even considering the Esteem. I have tried to get a stapedectomy Operation to free the footplate without success.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Oh, when will the totally implantable cochlear implant happen?

    I have been waiting for so long for the totally implantable cochlear implant clinical trials to get underway. It never happens. Never. Last December, I was waiting for this to happen. Nothing happens. Four years ago, I was waiting for this to happen. Nothing. This December, I'm still waiting. And nothing happens. It's agonizing. Especially when the YouTube video of the Envoy's patient sobbing hysterically goes viral (over 5,000,000 views).

    Totally Implantable Envoy is already commercially available (WAY past clinical trials). The cochlear implant companies have done almost nothing with the beginning of clinical trials.

    I'm depressed that there's no totally implantable cochlear implant. I am exhausted of waiting for nothing. Next December, I'll probably still be waiting for clinical trials to get underway still. I have nothing to be excited about anymore. It just never never never never happens.

    cochlear implant user

    ReplyDelete
  57. hello kay could you please keep updating your inprovments it means alot to all who are watching

    ReplyDelete
  58. I am profoundly deaf in my left ear and I am a RN. I would love to be able to have the procedure done. I struggle with my stethoscopes and have to remove my aids to use my scope or wear headphones which causes high pitch noise from aids or sometimes they dont even work. This would be great for nurses !! I cannot afford them though and at some point I will most likely not be able to practice as a nurse anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I TOO AM AN RN AND RECENTLY HAVE LOST 90% OF HEARING IN RT EAR. SO FAR AM STILL RECEIVING INJECTIONS OF STEROIDS IN HOPE OF SALVAGING ANY HEARING.
      I AM CURIOUS TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE BEEN STIGMATIZED FROM YOUR CO-WORKERS. SO FAR MY CO-WORKERS SEEM SUPPORTIVE, BUT YOU KNOW HOW THIS WORKS. EVEN THOUGH I DID NOTHING TO LOSE MY HEARING, I FEEL I TOO MAY LOSE MY ABILITY TO WORK AS AN RN MUCH LONGER.
      HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH ALL THESE ISSUES?

      Delete
    2. To the hard of hearing RN's out there,
      I remember a audiologist telling me one time that an RN patient of hers found the answer to using a stethoscope with hearing aids. The patient got the Lyric brand (www.lyrichearing.com) hearing aids that fit deep inside the ear. They stay in for 2-3 months then the batteries are changed by the tech or doctor. Completely invisible but they don't fit everyone because of the different shapes and sizes of everyone's ear canals. This RN worked in the nursery and had to be able to hear the weak heartbeats. Worked for her.
      I'm a pilot with a hearing loss so I know what it means to be looking at losing the job you love from hearing loss.
      Good luck.

      Delete
    3. Please remove CAPS next time - it indicates you are shouting.

      Delete
    4. Also for hard-of-hearing RN's..
      Check out these amplified stethoscopes.. might be a solution?? http://www.harriscomm.com/index.php/equipment/stethoscopes.html

      Delete
  59. I am happy to hear things are working out for Kay. I had the esteem implanted 7 months ago and it was just "turned on" last week. Well....my worst fear (regarding my hearing) was confirmed, this is as good as it gets. I am now hearing 10 db less than i did with my hearing aid. I just made things worse. Not sure where I go from here. I just pray this is not the end.

    ReplyDelete
  60. HI AM NEW TO THIS BLOGGING, I AM PROFOUNDLY DEAF IN MY LEFT EAR AND I CANNOTE EVEN HEAR WITH MY RIGHT EAR. I ONLY WEAR ONE HEARING AID IN MY LEFT EAR. WHEN I REMOVE MY HEARING AID I CANNOT HEAR. WILL ENVOYS ESTEEM IMPLANT HELP ME. PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Riyaz Adam,

    The Envoys Esteem Implant only works for mild to severe hearing loss. It is not prescribed for profound hearing loss, unfortunately. Indeed, that's why I find it entirely frustrating as a profoundly deaf person myself with a cochlear implant that a Totally Implantable cochlear implant is NOT available. A Totally Implantable cochlear implant (100 percent invisible) is the only solution for profound hearing loss, in terms of being able to hear 24/7 including in the ocean atmosphere etc.

    Moderate to severe hearing loss is the cut-off point for access to the Totally Implant Envoy implant.

    A Totally Implantable cochlear implant would be JUST like the Envoy implant for a profoundly deaf person. But, it does not yet exist.

    How or why they can make a Totally Implantable hearing aid available, and not do the same for a Totally Implantable cochlear implant is beyond me.

    There exists a GREAT need for a Totally Implantable cochlear implant.

    I'm hoping that a Totally Implantable cochlear implant becomes commercially available in a year or less outside of the U.S. Because if it does (and it might), I'm going over there for it. No matter how expensive the procedure is for Totally Implantable cochlear implant, I'm going to pay every dime for it.

    There's a big deal contract between the Cochlear Ltd. and Otologics for developing "Totally Implantable cochlear implant." I can't wait for it to happen!

    cochlear implant user

    ReplyDelete
  62. HI EVERYBODY, I WANT INFORMATION ON LYRIC HEARING AID. WHEN AND WHERE IT WILL BE AVAILABLE IN INDIA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stop with the caps please!

      Delete
  63. I had the Esteem Implant activated yesterday in my left ear. So far, I would say it's as good or better than hearing with a hearing aid. I was very pleased that immediately I could tell the difference in the car radio and once I got home, the TV. Now, it's not great, but a little better, especially coming off of 7 weeks with no hearing in that ear. On the TV I wasn't constantly staring at the CC, but did use it. I am starting off at a low volume level, and will increase it every other day. After two months I go back for adjustments and settings for different situations, such as noisy backgrounds, etc. I had this done because I really need to hear better. I have been a stay-at-home mom, and now with my son in college and my daughter leaving next fall for college also, I would like to work or find something else for me. I have always believed it would be a pain to have me as an employee as I hear so poorly. I am hoping this will change enough that I feel comfortable to get out in the working world. I have a progressive hearing loss that got really bad after having my children. I have worn in-the-canal hearing aids in both ears for 18 years. When I had the word discrimination test the day before surgery, I totally stunk. My left ear (implanted the next day) scored 0% and my right ear was only 19%. My surgeon, Dr. Murray, the engineer, and every one at the doctors office and surgery center have been fantastic. I have had a really good experience. I'm glad I went for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Cyndi: Were you tested for auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD)? The 19% and (especially) 0% speech scores is a tipoff that this may indeed be the case, and if so, no hearing aid will work, or more precisely due to the dys-synchrony of the neural firing, i.e. that your cochleas have become unsynchronized from your brain.

      The screening for ANSD is elevated ipsilateral & contralateral stapedial (acoustic) reflexes thresholds, i.e. over 90dB; and the confirming test is a special auditory brainstem evoked response (ABR) using alternating compression and rarefaction clicks, which cancel out the cochlear microphonic, and will show an absence of wave V response.

      An additional test that can be performed -- And one that may be necessary due to your implant -- is electrocochleography (EcochG), which will assess inner hair cell integrity, much as the OAE (otoacoustic emission) test assesses outer hair cell integrity. Although an EcochG can be done (but not very well) with a gold electrode on the eardrum, in your case most likely it will require you to be placed under anesthesia, where a "golf club" electrode is placed against the round window. While they are in there, they will probably also perform an electrical ABR (eABR), which will assess your cochlear nerve integrity.

      In the case of ANSD, as long as the cochlear nerve itself is intact, the only solution to hearing well enough to understand speech is to re-synchronize the neural firing with cochlear implants. Period.

      If your speech discrimination score in your implanted ear does not reach at least 50%, most likely you indeed have ANSD… And this means you will need to have your Esteem implant removed, and replaced with a cochlear implant.

      For much more on ANSD, please see 2010-Multi-site diagnosis and management of 260 patients with Auditory Neuropathy-Dys-synchrony (Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder):
      http://csd.cbcs.usf.edu/an/Berlin_ANSD.pdf

      For a truly frightening simulation of what ANSD sounds like, please listen to this sequence of profound, severe, moderate, mild, and then no ANSD here:
      http://www.kresgelab.com/Resources/AN_simulation.wma

      Dan Schwartz,
      Editor, The Hearing Blog
      http://www.TheHearingBlog.com

      Delete
    2. Dan- No, I haven't been tested for ANSD. When I went back for testing after two months from activation, my speech discrimination score was 55%. I will have to say it has been really rough so far. Sound has been extremely distorted in my implanted ear. They have explained that 2 of the 4 drivers are not functioning properly yet, so I am only picking up certain tones (the high ones) and it is really annoying. They are hoping as my ear continues to heal that they will start to work. Cyndi

      Delete
  64. I had the esteem implanted also, and turned on 2 1/2 weeks ago and have noticed an improvement over hearing aids. My hearing loss was profound, and I can tell in noisy situatios I am hearing better. I wanted better results, but the envoy people tell me it takes months for my ear to improve after surgery. I have 4 more volume changes to make on my volume level, so things will get better. I'm glad I had the surgery, I don't have to wear a hearing aid in my ear, and don't have to deal with feedback if I hug someone or change batteries anymore. An 83 year old friend of mine had the esteem implanted the same week I did and he hears much better than I do. He had severe hearing loss, and now he hears tv perfectly and his wife says she no longer has to repeat herself. I am very happy for him; and I am glad I had this done, too.

    ReplyDelete
  65. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I am thinking about getting these esteem implants soon. I hope it works out for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Cousin, did you get the implants, did they work?

      Delete
    2. Please delete my post on May 23, 2012.

      Thank you.

      Delete
  67. This is a very interesting article. http://www.hearingsparks.com/2012/04/new-invisible-implant.html I hope it works out.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Thanks for sharing your experience. It's really helpful for those who are willing to get this transplant.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I had the Esteem implant procedure done in 2012. Although it increases volume, it has never worked well for me. However, my "best" ear (left) did not have adequate mastoid bone mass to allow for the implant so the worst ear was used. I think this had a lot to do with the implants poor performance. But I really don't know. What I have is a good hearing aid for my left ear which helps me to define words and understand what is being said by the speaker. I try to balance that with the Esteem which provides good (but "buzzie) volume. I'm getting by but it is always a struggle.

    ReplyDelete

All comments on my blog are moderated, and I reserve the right not to publish any comments for any reason. This blog is set up so that anyone can comment. If you have trouble, email me, or check Blogger's help section.