My Hearing Journey
I noticed my hearing loss when I was in 10th standard. Till then, I was good at face to face conversations. During my plus two studies, when we moved to a new house where I stayed on the top floor, I started noticing that when the phone on the ground floor rang, I could not hear it.
I went to see an ENT doctor, who diagnosed me with a profound sensorineural hearing loss. I started wearing the prescribed hearing aids, which were pretty good at first, but the more I used them, the more I realised they were not very helpful: to the extent that I stopped using hearing aids for 5 years. I relied on lip-reading and some residual hearing, but still could not attend any phone calls. After getting married and when attending interviews to switch my job, I realized that I had to do something about not being able to hear fully. That’s when I started to research about cochlear implants and went to see a doctor about it. He confirmed that it would improve my hearing immensely. The process of getting a CI was a very important part to begin my new hearing journey. After much research and talking to people on Facebook groups, I selected my implant and underwent the surgery successfully.
Life After implants
One to one conversations became easier, and I did not have to rely on visual cues like lip reading. Earlier I used to speak loudly in public places, with the implant my voice normalised since I could hear myself.
I joined office two weeks post-activation. By then I got enough practice by listening to YouTube, TED talks and songs, first with familiar and then new songs. I am now comfortable using the phone on speaker and feel the joy of being able to hear the clock ticking, water dripping and the chirping of birds.
Communication is easier now. People have started talking to me, since I respond better. Most importantly, my family and children are more comfortable around me. I feel good.
My Role as a Mentor
I can help people who have questions about life before and after cochlear implant. I look forward to helping people of all age groups who may have lost hearing and are seeking solutions.
My Top Tip
In my experience, getting implants at the earliest is better. Getting implants is the beginning and rehabilitation is equally important.