A few months ago we introduced you to Robert from Austria, who decided to get ADHEAR, a non-surgical bone conduction solution, after having multiple cholesteatoma operations. Recently, Robert started using a second ADHEAR and is amazed by the results.
We met up with Robert, and he told us more about his experience with two ADHEARs, and why he believes it’s the small things in life that matter.
How long have you been using ADHEAR for? And how are you finding the handling of two devices?
I’ve been wearing ADHEAR on my left side for more than a year. And since the beginning of 2019 I have had one on my right side as well. After getting my second device I have to say: The handling is great! You simply stick it on, take it off, and put it back on – without much further ado. That is simply awesome.
How has your hearing changed since you started using two ADHEARs?
Since getting two ADHEARs I hear more, and for me that means a new quality of life. On my right side the situation is a bit better than on my left, because I have some residual hearing there. For me, it feels like my hearing has improved another 20% with the second ADHEAR.
In which situations do you benefit the most from having two ADHEARs?
The biggest difference is that I am now able to tell where sounds come from, that directional hearing is possible once more – and that makes a huge difference to my everyday life! From the moment that I got my second ADHEAR that was possible again. In the beginning – the first couple of days – it was strange. I had totally lost my directional hearing and to start with I was overwhelmed by this new hearing. I think the senses get lost a bit if they are not used. But now there is a totally new quality to my hearing.
When I am in the woods with my dog Nahla, I really notice the difference. I can now hear sounds that other people make, and I can tell which direction they come from. And I can always tell where my dog is!
Last time you told us about your troubles with vertigo? Any improvements there?
Thankfully, I don’t have big problems with vertigo at the moment. Fortunately, my doctor has made this manageable for now. However, there are many things, like taking a cable car up the mountain, that I can’t do anymore. This will always be part of my life.
Has your social life changed with the second ADHEAR?
Yes, definitely, because with two devices I simply hear more. My quality of life and my social life have improved. I am not afraid of approaching people anymore.
What’s even better is that I have “surround sound” again, so to say. With only one ADHEAR on my left side I sometimes had trouble hearing and understanding people speaking on my right side. This problem was solved by the second ADHEAR.
How do the ADHEARs help you at work?
It is definitely easier for me to approach my colleagues. And they help with my everyday communication. When my team leader calls for me now, I don’t just hear him but am also able to look in the right direction straight away – that’s amazing!
You do a lot of sports. Do you also wear your ADHEARs when you exercise?
If I go out for a walk with my dog or the like, I always wear my ADHEARs. When I go skateboarding I usually take them off but unfortunately, I am not allowed to go snowboarding anymore due to my vertigo.
Is there a funny or interesting story or incident related to ADHEAR that you would like to share?
Only since I’ve been a bilateral ADHEAR user I do know how loud computers can actually be, with this humming sound that comes from the fan. Noises like that I had not heard for a long time. Or the sound of slippers on the floor. Or how the elevator moves… You simply start noticing the small things again, and when I heard them all for the first time, it was very poignant.
A really cool moment for me was when I went to the doctors for the first time with both ADHEARs on. When I was called for I could not only hear it, but I could also tell the direction I should walk in.
What would you recommend to others in your situation?
If they think they are happy with one ADHEAR, they should really try two! If you have problems with hearing in both ears and are a potential ADHEAR candidate, it is best to get a device on both sides.
When it comes to cholesteatoma, it is actually vertigo that I warn people the most about. If you are in denial about it, you completely underestimate how bad it can be. But the sooner something is done about your vertigo, the better!
Do you want to learn more about MED-EL’s non-implanted bone conduction device? Read why Lorraine from the UK chose ADHEAR as the best hearing solution for her son William.
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