Thoughts on Hearing Aids, Part Three


In Part Two, I discussed some factors that contribute to why a hearing aid is expensive. It’s been quite a few years since I last wrote that post and much has changed since.

Cochlear Implants

I now have a Cochlear Nucleus 7 sound processor and implant. I qualified for this implant back in 2017, when I was first hired by KnownHost LLC to come work for them, in March 2017. The operation didn’t happen until much later that year, after my insurance policy went into effect.

That operation cost $64k, of which I paid $1,500 with the insurance, which at the time was United Healthcare. We now have Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama. I still work for KnownHost LLC.

The interesting part about this was that hearing aids weren’t really covered at that time for adults, but CIs, Cochlear Implants for short, was absolutely possible when I’d had my audiology test. The result was that I was profoundly deaf in my left ear and that I was close to the edge of hearing aids being of little benefit.

At that time, my hearing aid, which was the aBlue hearing aid from Audicus. It was non-functional when I got the operation done and hadn’t been able to hear for about a couple years at that point and was just using a generic sound amplifier that you could buy from Walmart to pass by.

Now, with insurance and it appears that Medicaid and Medicare also cover cochlear implants. That’s nice, but not everyone will want to make use of a cochlear implant for a number of reasons, cost and the stigma being associated with having such a thing done being large factors.

Nor would everyone desire to deal with being put under and then spending a month or so to recover from the operation and then having the implant and sound processor be activated and deal with the fun of understanding everything again.

Surprisingly I did fairly well and things sound just about the same as I had heard things on hearing aids, but with a lot more clarity and ease of understanding things. Well, to an extent, anyway. I can hear wind, birds and things like that now compared to before. Some days are better than others when it comes to understanding people and… frankly, I wish people understood that better.

My point, I suppose, is that Cochlear Implants are a good option, if you’re able to use it. The technology allows me to stream audio directly to my sound processor, which you can consider to be the equivalent of a hearing aid and lets me listen to music, movies and whatnot in peace, compared to loudly blaring music or movies when watching such content.

Maybe I’ll write more thoughts on this later, but there you go.

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