Annie D. struggled with hearing loss most of her life and was in denial about the significance of her hearing loss for 30 years. Finally, after years of discussions with her audiologist, Annie decided to get a cochlear implant at 57. Now, two years post-activation, Annie is rediscovering the world of sound that exists within the joys of her life:


Woman with a Cochlear Implant“I was born deaf in my right ear and lost most of the hearing in my left ear when I was in my 20s. I wore a hearing aid in that ear for 30 years before my audiologist convinced me that a cochlear implant would benefit me greatly. (It actually took him five years to convince me; I was in denial about just how little I was actually hearing.)

I was implanted and activated at Sunnybrook Hospital/Toronto in 2015. On the way home from my activation, I could hear the rain on the car roof and catch a few words on the radio. I was thrilled.

I have embraced my cochlear implant (CI) fully. I keep my CI on from the time I rise in the morning to the time I go to sleep. I keep my hair very short, and I have every colour of coil cover and sound processor cover that is available! I love to show off my CI, and people often approach me to ask about it because it is so visible.

Doing yoga with a Cochlear ImplantSince being implanted, I have become much more social and outgoing because now I’m not so nervous about not hearing what people are saying.

I actively use my CochlearTM Nucleus® System accessories. I use the Aqua+* water accessory, and I love hearing the waves and splashing while I’m swimming. The True WirelessTM Phone Clip allows me to talk to my daughters with ease. (The first time I heard my daughters’ voices clearly were when they were 26 and 23!)  I also love the Phone Clip for listening to music on my iPhone®, listening to audiobooks and podcasts, which I have never been able to enjoy before.

I think the accessory I use the most is the True Wireless Mini Microphone. Prior to my CI, I had participated in fitness classes for many years, but it was always a struggle to understand the instructor’s voice and I relied on watching the other people in the class, which was often frustrating.

I tried yoga thinking the quieter setting would be easier, but for that same reason, I could not hear anything the instructor said. I couldn’t do the poses and watch people at the same time either. About a year after I was implanted, I went back to a fitness class and found I could understand so much better and often even recognize the song.

I thought I would give yoga another try, but it was the same problem as before. Then I thought of asking my teacher if she was open to wearing my Mini Mic, and she was all for it! Now I can hear every word she says, and I can even hear her breathing, which is amazing. I am so happy I can now participate fully.

My CI has opened a whole new world of possibilities for me.

I just had my two-year check-up, and I have gone from zero word recognition pre-implant to 96 percent! I’m so thankful I had the surgery and that Cochlear has such wonderful technology.”

If you’ve been struggling with hearing loss for years and your hearing aids are just not giving you enough, find out if cochlear implants could help you like they did for Annie:


*The Nucleus Aqua+ accessory is IP68 rated and is approved for use with rechargeable batteries and is not approved for use with the acoustic component. The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is water- resistant without the Nucleus Aqua+ accessory to level of IP57 of the International Standard IEC60529 when used with rechargeable batteries.
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Renee Oehlerking
Renee Oehlerking is the Public Relations Manager at Cochlear Americas where she is responsible for the region’s public relations and consumer marketing social media. Renee enjoys uncovering, telling and showcasing the inspiring stories of hearing implant recipients. As a recent transplant to Denver, Colorado, Renee enjoys exploring all that the state has to offer outdoors.