It was discovered at a very young age that my, now 8 year old, son has a sensorineural hearing impairment in both ears. It is caused by a Mondini
malformation; basically his cochlea are incomplete. Normal cochlea have 2 1/2 turns. The cochlea in his right ear has 1 1/2, but the left only has 1
turn. This has left him profoundly deaf in his left ear, and with a moderate loss in his right. According to his audiologist, his left ear will
never have hearing even with aid, but his right has been aided since he was 5.
There was a conversation a few years back in which she stated he was a candidate for a cochlear implant. Up until about 6 months ago, the hearing aid
on his right ear worked perfectly for him. Sometimes if someone is turned away from him or mumbling he still has trouble hearing them, but most
people in his life are aware of the loss and make sure they are facing him and in loud situations, sit on his right side.
However, now that he's getting older and is getting more freedom, it's becoming apparent that this may cause some problems. For example, at our
campground he is given a lot of freedom to come and go as he pleases. Most people know him/us, and we feel quite comfortable to allow him to ride his
bike around the park and visit with friends at their trailers or tents. But we had a situation arise where a new family wasn't aware of his hearing
loss, spoke to him in such a way that he couldn't clearly hear what was being said, and got himself into some trouble (nothing serious, just the
parent thought he was being belligerent). We sorted out the problem and yet again reminded Ryan that he should always tell people if he can't hear
them correctly rather than blurting out an answer. Unfortunately he's a bit shy and sometimes doesn't want to tell people about his
Also, he gets a billion ear infections a year in his functioning ear (murphy's law I guess), and always seems to have some sort of drainage in his
right ear (he also has ear tubes so the drainage is quite severe and nasty). During these times he can't wear his hearing aid as the drainage stops
up the ear mould and/or tubing, rendering it pretty much useless. He seems to have it off more than on nowadays.
Anyhow, I've been wondering if in his older years, a cochlear implant might help better than the hearing aid is. The hearing aid seems so
directional and pulls in so much background noise, he often takes it off in frustration (situations such as gym class where it's echo-y and loud).
I know very little about the cochlear implants, just some things I've read on the internet. I do plan to inquire at our next audiology visit, but I
wondered if anyone has first hand experience, or knows someone that has one and the pros/cons they've encountered.
Thanks in advance