At Home with Chris Jessen 2018 - 8
GAVE ME MY LIFE BACK!'
Dave Walters used to be the
life and soul of every party, but
over time he became a recluse;
nervous of any type of
interaction. He lost his hearing
and it had a knock-on effect
that seeped into many areas
of his life.
Dave, aged 66, lives in Abergavenny,
South Wales and is one of 11 million
people in the UK suffering with hearing
loss. According to Action on Hearing Loss,
an estimated 900,000 people in the UK
have severe or profound hearing loss.
He can trace the problem back to an
incident at work in 1988. A police dog
handler, he was taking part in a training
course with ﬁrearms. From that day, Dave
started to suffer from tinnitus and his
hearing just kept getting worse. He
explains: 'I ﬁnally went to see a specialist
for a hearing test and he said I would lose
my hearing completely in ﬁve years. I was
afraid I would lose my job because I
couldn't hear the dogs barking. I had two
kids in university and a mortgage. I became
depressed and my marriage suffered
because of my mood swings.'
It was a desperate situation and Dave
even had to put a brave face on at his
son's wedding day. 'The implications of my
hearing loss hit me because I couldn't
hear the ceremony,' he recalls. 'It was
Dave had tried many options by then;
experimenting with a long line of hearing
Dave can now
aids that weren't satisfactory. Those he tried
wouldn't ﬁt properly or would emit an
irritating whistling sound. In order to restore
his hearing, as well as his health and family
life, Dave needed a new solution. And fast.
When he ﬁrst heard about cochlear implants,
it almost sounded too good to be true.
After using disappointing hearing aids, this
promised to be drastically different. And it is.
The implant - an electronic medical device
that replaces the function of the damaged
inner ear - requires a one-off routine surgery
and a few weeks later, the individual returns
to have the sound processor turned on.
Dave has just been given a new sound
processor - Cochlear's newest innovation,
the Nucleus® 7. It's the world's ﬁrst
made-for- iPhone cochlear implant sound
processor, and the smallest and lightest on
the market. For the ﬁrst time, sound can be
streamed from a compatible iPhone, iPad or
iPod - whether it's phone calls, music or
videos - directly to the Nucleus 7 sound
processor that sits behind the ear of the user.
The accompanying Nucleus Smart App lets
the user control the sound in their
environment directly from their device so
that it's at the optimum level for hearing
whatever they want.
So how does it work, exactly? The
Nucleus 7 functions with a cochlear
implant, which is an electronic medical
device that replaces the function of the
damaged inner ear, and provides sound
signals to the brain. Sound captured by the
Nucleus 7 is turned to digital code which is
then transmitted through the external coil
and wirelessly to the implant. The implant
converts the digitally coded sound into
electrical impulses so that they can be fed
to the brain as sound.
A LIFE-CHANGING IMPLANT
Other types of implants are also available
from Cochlear. For example, Baha® bone
conduction implants are helpful for those
with conductive hearing loss, or single-sided
deafness, while Carina® middle-ear implants
are suitable for those with moderate to
severe sensorineural or mixed hearing loss.
All of Cochlear's products greatly improve
the quality of life of anyone who makes the
switch. From having very little hearing to
being able to pick up sounds again, it's an
incredible experience - few forget the day
they used Cochlear for the ﬁrst time. Over to
Dave for the ﬁnal word: 'The ﬁrst sound I
heard was my wife's voice,' he says. 'I could
hear again! I was so overwhelmed, I cried.
Now I'm back to the person I was all those
years ago. It's a life-changer; it's amazing that
a piece of technology can do that.'
VISIT COCHLEAR.COM | EMAIL HEARNOW@COCHLEAR.COM