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Breaking the Stigma: Sandra’s Courageous Hearing Journey

Meet CI user and biologist Sandra from Spain. In this article, we delve into Sandra’s inspiring hearing journey–from the moment she discovered her hearing loss to her decision to pursue a cochlear implant. Her story showcases the remarkable advances in hearing technology and highlights the importance of seeking support, nurturing mental well-being, and breaking the stigma surrounding hearing solutions.

Breaking the Stigma: Sandra's Courageous Hearing Journey

My name is Sandra. I’m 25 years old and from Madrid, Spain. I am a biologist specializing in genetics and cell biology and a researcher in molecular biosciences, particularly in hearing loss and tumors. I love scientific awareness. I try to bring science closer to people in an enjoyable way.

Dealing With the Shock of Hearing Loss

One morning when I was 17, I woke up to the disorienting sound of loud beeping in my ears. I soon realized that I couldn’t hear in one ear anymore, and I had vertigo and dizziness. So I immediately rushed to the hospital where I found out I wouldn’t be able to recover my hearing in my right ear, and my sudden hearing loss would be permanent. Initially, the news was a shock to me, as I found out that hearing loss, even in just one ear, is a more significant challenge than many people would think.

Adapting to Hearing Loss

But I was determined to adapt to my hearing loss as quickly as possible. I wanted to help people around me understand my new situation, so I didn’t hesitate to ask friends and family to speak more clearly or move to my left side so I could understand them better.

However, I had to deal with a lot of people—including myself—underestimating and dismissing me because of my hearing loss. One day, I had an epiphany: Why should I downplay something that had happened to me?

I realized that I could regain my ability to hear by accepting my hearing loss and seeking ways to improve my situation. From that moment on, I decided to take proactive steps toward a better future.


CI user from Spain

Exploring Cochlear Implant Options

I soon recognized the need to explore my options, so I consulted a doctor. After undergoing several tests, a specialized team concluded that a cochlear implant would be the most suitable solution for me. With the arrangements for surgery underway, I chose the MED-EL implant due to its MRI safety, which is essential for my routine tests for multiple sclerosis.

A New Hearing Experience With My Cochlear Implant

On activation day, the moment I began to hear the beeps, I felt an overwhelming sense of excitement. I knew that a challenging journey lay ahead, but I was eager to discover how my brain would adapt to the new audio signals.

Now that I have a cochlear implant on one side and normal hearing on the other, I can acknowledge that my hearing experience has changed and that I still need to work on my rehabilitation.

But I’m grateful for my cochlear implant because it helps me continue living my life to the fullest–engaging in conversations, differentiating sounds, and even enjoying music.

Speech Therapy With Cochlear Implants

The initial weeks following activation were filled with noise, making it difficult for me to distinguish words. My brain went through a learning process hearing with the new system. Thanks to the dedicated team of pediatric speech therapists at La Paz Hospital, I progressed from struggling to differentiate different sounds to effortlessly participating in conversations between two people within just six months.

Rediscovering the World With My RONDO 2 Audio Processor

I am thrilled with my decision to get a RONDO 2 audio processor.

  • It turned out to be the perfect fit for my lifestyle, particularly since I prefer to wear my glasses. With my RONDO 2 audio processor, that’s no problem at all. Its comfortable design allows me to enjoy the benefits of a cochlear implant without any hindrance.
  • Thanks to my RONDO 2 and my cochlear implant, I have not only regained confidence in myself, but I am now able to go to bars and understand conversations with my friends and family again.
  • And I am able to locate sounds and control the tone of my voice.

Empowering Others With Hearing Loss

My hearing journey goes beyond my personal triumphs. I strongly believe in empowering others who are navigating the challenges of hearing loss. If you have hearing loss, I recommend consulting not only audiologists but also reaching out to psychological experts who can provide valuable guidance. Your hearing loss does not have to influence your quality of life.

Hearing aids or hearing implants should not be seen as taboo but rather as something that supports you in daily life, just like glasses aid vision.

Every person handles such circumstances differently, but it can be helpful to learn from the experience of others. Rather than fearing the situation, I encourage you to embrace the information you get from others and then make informed decisions. For me, taking a risk and pursuing a cochlear implant has been a life-changing decision—one that I now proudly share with others.

My Message of Support and Encouragement

My message to others with hearing loss is clear: Your hearing loss does not define you or limit your quality of life. By embracing your options, you can regain confidence, enjoy conversations, and unlock new possibilities. Let my hearing journey guide you toward a future where hearing loss is not a barrier but a stepping stone to a vibrant and fulfilling life.


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© MED-EL Medical Electronics. All rights reserved. The content on this website is for general informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Contact your doctor or hearing specialist to learn what type of hearing solution suits your specific needs. Not all products, features, or indications are approved in all countries.


1 Comment

helga schweizer

October 26, 2023

I very much liked this artikel I am fro Germany living in the USA for the last 60 years .In my 40 this My hearing went slowly down .In my 70 this I was deaf on my left side .My audiologist said I should look into C I . Went with the implant on the left side a year later on the right side My brain did good with the new learning of hearing ..Iam in my 80 this have my med el now for 3 -and 4 years the 4 year old gives me a little problem with charging but I love my med el ears ,they have giving me almost a normal life back. My loos runs in the familie .Helga Schweizer


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October 31, 2023

That's amazing, Helga! Thank you so much for sharing your hearing journey with us, we're happy to read it's going great! All our best wishes :) Kind Regards, Giulia


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