Stephania G. has bilateral mixed hearing loss and noticed it originally at her job. After struggling with her hearing, she trialed hearing aids and was frustrated with their sound quality and the comfort level. After finding out about the Cochlear™ Baha® 5 System, she was thrilled. See how her Baha 5 System has changed her life for the better:
“I have bilateral mixed hearing loss; hearing loss is fairly common for a person with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). I started noticing a decrease in my hearing while I was at work. I worked at a police station as a communications officer and my shift was on nights. At first, I thought it was fatigue and just the overall exhaustion that comes with the job, but then I came to the realization that the whole world around me was turning down in volume.
Somehow, I felt ashamed, and that it was my fault for not being able to hear, especially since I had co-workers getting frustrated when I could not hear them or when I would not answer when called upon. After I began my research journey, I was able to understand that my hearing loss was something beyond me, and I needed help.
Trialing hearing aids
I have to admit that I was in denial at first, but once I accepted my new condition and geared all my energy towards finding the best solution, I started trying different methods to help. I tried hearing aids, but I very soon understood that they were not for me, I would not be happy moving forward wearing hearing aids in the long term. Why? I tried them for 30 days and during those 30 days I was miserable adjusting to having something inside my ear at all times.
I tried several different molds, but my ears would always try to push it out, and it became painful. It was not only physically exhausting but emotionally exhausting too. The sound that comes from a hearing aid is not natural, the world sounds like there is a loud microphone turned on and this resulted in headaches at the end of the day. My brain felt annoyed at all of these super loud sounds, and I looked forward to taking them off at the end of the day.
Struggling with my hearing loss
I had become very self-conscious of going out in public, because it was truly heart-wrenching to know I just could not hear people most of the time. I am a person who gets noticed everywhere I go, people often come up to me to say hi, to compliment me on my independence when they see me getting in and out of my car, when I am out and about with my husband, my dogs, etc.
There are many topics of conversation when I go out and to know I was no longer able to engage with the world around me was very hard for me. It came down to simply not being able to go out alone. I always needed, mainly, my husband to either answer for me, or repeat what people said and to me. That was a huge problem, because if my medical condition from birth had not kept me from my independency, why was this new medical condition going to? I knew I needed to do something about it right away as one thing I cannot ever see myself losing is my independence.
Baha 5 System technology
I made the choice to get implanted from the frustration between my current hearing loss and the nightmare hearing aids were becoming for me. I started researching about the Baha System and I honestly fell in love with the idea, knowing there was this wonderful possibility of practically gaining my hearing back without compromising on hearing aids. The technology of the Baha System just blew me away!
Today I am a proud owner of the Baha 5 System. I try to pick up my hair often, or part it, to make the device visible, because my favorite part of going out is when someone notices it and I have an opportunity to educate! Not to mention it just looks extremely cool.
My life with a hearing implant
Living with a hearing implant for me has been life changing to say the least. I could never say anything negative about it because no matter how difficult the road was to get where I am today, it will always be worth it and I would do it over a million times to get where I am today.
What are the benefits of the Baha 5 Sound Processor? Oh! In my opinion, they are endless, I do not have headaches anymore (they were mainly from hearing fatigue, which is a real thing), and I am back to being exactly who I was before hearing loss entered my life. I have 100 percent gained my independence back, and I go out alone again, drive by myself and feel confident and whole again.
What I love about my Baha 5 System
Now let’s talk about the iPhone®12 advantages. I will start by saying WOW. I never thought it would be so simple to manage my Baha 5 Sound Processor right from the comfort of my phone. It is so simple, yet so useful to have the volume at the tip of your finger and to be able to switch to a loud noise feature, mute it, handle calls and listen to music right from your sound processor! The iPhone capabilities are honestly the cherry on top. It does not get greater than this.
I love listening to music, talking on the phone with my loved ones, since my sisters all live in different parts of the country, listening to the ocean, the birds and even something so mundane as watching TV. Those with hearing loss can relate to the fact that we literally live off of the subtitles! All of this was pretty much impossible when my hearing loss gained momentum, and it took a huge chunk of my daily life away.
I now own a work from home company, so I always have to talk to prospects on the phone. I lead weekly meetings and monthly check ups, and it was all becoming very difficult and exhausting. My worst fear was that one day I would not be able to do this at all.
Looking to the future
Once I received my Baha 5 System, I feel like I went back to normal; to handling all of the above mentioned without straining myself, it became natural again.My future is focused on growing my company, working hard towards giving people the opportunity to work from home, and my next big project is to become a mental health counselor to continue to share my story and my lifestyle in the hopes that it can help even just one person!”
Are you interested in learning more about the Baha 5 System? Learn more today.
- iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
- For information on sound processor and app compatibility, visit www.cochlear.com/compatibility.