Are Deaf People Waterproof and CIs + Keychains

Swimming pools are open. Lawn sprinklers are on. It’s lake season.

It’s also “Don’t get me wet! I have my CI/hearing aid on!” season.

All deafies know what I’m talking about. πŸ˜‰

It’s when we’re hanging out by the poolside and someone decides to try and push us in. Most of the time we wouldn’t mind it except for the fact that we’re wearing something that costs a few thousand bucks and isn’t waterproof! Of course we can swim as long as the external processor/aid is off. It’s just when we have them on that we worry! πŸ˜‰

Too bad CIs aren’t waterproof. I would love to know what it sounds like underwater. I know many of my friends would like to know also. I did read about how someone came up with a way for their son to swim with their CI on. That is a risk to take and is one that most people aren’t willing to take. CIs/hearing aids are just so expensive to take that risk especially when it may not work or when it may fall off.

There is an unspoken golden rule among deaf people to check for hearing aids/CIs before pushing each other into the pool/lake. Although we don’t always remember this rule and we have had a few close calls. πŸ˜‰ Hearing people do need to be aware of this rule.

I’m still waiting for the day where I just jump into a pool with my CI on. I was a lot more aware that I had something on my ears with hearing aids than with the CI due to wearing earmolds with aids. I’m just glad I haven’t accidentally jumped into the shower with the CI yet (probably because it usually goes flying off my head when putting/taking on/off clothes). *knocks on wood*

Looking back, it had to make my parents so nervous knowing that their 8-year-old kid was responsible for something that cost thousands of dollars and when their 2-year-old kid was walking around wearing something so expensive!

I do find it interesting that even though we (myself and friends) may seem to forget we have our CIs/hearing aids on we don’t always forget. It’s usually the first thing we yell out when someone is getting ready to get us wet. It’s not like we walk around constantly thinking “I have my CI/hearing aid” on. It’s sub-conscious and it is interesting to see how that works.

CIs/hearing aids are like keys. They’re easy to misplace and you go into that panicky mode you get when you can’t find your keys. Now that it’s summer time and I take my CI off whenever I hang out by the lake/pool. If I can’t find it afterwards in my bag….I’ve learned that the first area to look in is wherever my keys are. My CI magnet finds my key chain attractive. πŸ˜‰ Of course, I’m a bit stuck if I can’t find my keys either.

On another note my “hearing” is now 2 months old. Hair in the small area that was shaved is slowly growing back and already covers almost half of the incision….yay!

As a friend pointed out…..it is odd when your “hearing” is only 2 months old and you’re an adult.

12 thoughts on “Are Deaf People Waterproof and CIs + Keychains

  1. Girl, I got tossed in a pool by some big guy I didn't know when on a trip to Florida with some girlfriends a long time ago… Needless to say he didn't win any brownie points with his flirting skills and I spent an hour with my blowdryer. LOL! I'm totally willing to use an older hearing aid covered by one of the (am I really going to say this???) rubber covers… what are they called??.. when I'm not going to submerge… I think I did this at a water park one year, but kept a waterproof case with a baggie inside (double protection) <–Did I really say that too??? I'm really paranoid about taking off my CI implant in public and walking away from it period. Like someone is going to steal that, but the bag it's in could look appealing… water and me has meant a lot of insecurities for many reasons over the years (not so much anymore…)

  2. Ive read most of your blog, very interesting. Ive gotten my HAs wet a few times. One time I forgot to take them off when running thru sprinklers as a kid, lucky only a few drops got on them and I dried it off. Once I fell in the pool 20 years ago and my dad saved my HAs with a hairdryer.What brand of HA do you have? Is it the Phonak Naida V UP like I have? I was told that transposition can’t be set below the 1500Hz cutoff but I see it works successfully for you. I need to transport sounds down to 1000Hz or less, 1500Hz is too high. How did you get yours to transport way below 1500Hz?I will keep in touch with your blog and can learn more about CIs. Id like to max my HAs out first though and see what they are capable of. My audie believes I could hear at 15db. Were your HAs maxed out? Was 45db the best you could hear with HAs? Do you still wear a HA in the nonimplanted ear?

  3. I got some stories, too. Some guy playfully poured water on my head, and once I felt the water trickle down from the top of my head I yanked my hearing aid out… it was still on, so everyone heard the really loud whistling feedback sound.Here’s another… one of my buddies put his hearing aid on top of his car in a restaurant parking lot – and FORGOT about it. There was a downpour and his hearing aid got wet. Somehow, it still worked! No one knows why it still works.

  4. With summer quickly approaching, we also have been worried about water. Our son is 2 and has been hearing with CIs for 7 months. I’m curious, how did your parents handle water when you were litte. It seems much easier to control as an adult, but I hate to have limit his play or his hearing. It seems a hard choice to make: play or hear.

  5. Michelle: Ack! That’s one good way to not win any brownie points for sure. πŸ˜‰ I do sometimes bring a bag if I know water will be involved.Deafdude: I actually used AVR Sonovation HAs and I did try the Phonak one but I liked the AVR ones much better. I wore them for many years and at one point I could hear 15db with them. For some reason my audiogram with HAs was always changing. I really think that people need to be more aware of transposition hearing aids and there should be a bigger push for these hearing aids prior to getting implanted. I’m surprised at how often I have to explain to audiologists what transposition hearing aids are. I have tried the HA in my nonimplanted ear and I have decided to not wear it for a bit more as I want to focus on my CI right now. I may try it again down the road. A lot of what I can hear with my CI, I could hear with my HA. However, it’s on a different level. I’m able to pick things up from a greater distance and things seem to be more detailed. I am picking up some sounds I couldn’t pick up with my HA. I am so glad I had these HAs prior to getting implanted. Nabeel: That’s one tough hearing aid ;-)Cause Me to Hear: It is a difficult choice when you have to choose between playing and hearing. I do remember as a child that I preferred to play over hearing. I resisted it whenever I was forced to hear instead of playing. In an ideal world I would have been able to have both all the time. As a child it was important to me that people let me be a child first. There are plently of opportunities to make up for the time missed out on hearing while playing. I was able to hear and play most of the time. Water was the main issue. As your child gets older and becomes more responsible for his CI he will make that decision himself. I basically became responsible for my HAs starting at age 4-5. My parents would closely supervise me whenever I was close to water (which is difficult to do when your child is 2 πŸ˜‰ ). They never prevented me from doing anything just because my hearing aid wasn’t waterproof. If anything it taught me how to interact with others without relying on my hearing aid. It gave me time to be free while forcing me to develop lipreading skills which came in handy whenever my hearing aid had to be sent in for repair.One suggestion if your son likes to play with water but isn’t going to be running through sprinklers or jumping into pools…would be a earmold. I currently don’t use a ear mold with my CI, but I know some friends did as a child…it basically just saved their CI from falling right into water if it happened to fall off their ear/head. Hope this helps a bit. πŸ™‚

  6. I havent heard of AVR Sonovation HAs. How much gain do those have and are they as loud as the Phonak Naida V UP? Why did you prefer the AVR? How did you get to 15 db aided with a 90db loss? Your audiogram shows a 45db aided score.I am learning all I can about HAs so I can have the best possible HAs. You are right, CI candidacy criteria is too lax nowdays and I am surprised how some can qualify for CI despite having enough residual hearing to benefit great from the best HAs. If they want to pay the $50,000 out of pocket, their choice but insurance shouldn’t foot the bill if they are benefitting from HAs!I am curious, how do you score on the piano thud test? See my blog and post a comment with your results in your CI ear then HA ear. I am unable to hear above around 1000Hz, how high can you hear and what does it sound like with transposition?

  7. Michelle: I’ll check that out and will let you know if I decide to try them with the CI.Deafdude: AVR Sonovation HAs aren’t very well known. They were one of the first companies to make transposition/frequency compression hearing aids back in the early 1990s. They used to be based out of Ireland or somewhere oversea but I think they’re out of MN now (not sure though). I was one of the first people to wear these HAs in America (early 1990s).AVR HAs were just louder to me compared to Phonak. I was able to pick up more with AVR than the Phonak. As for the 15 db aided with a 90 db loss audiogram. My audiograms with HAs just have never really been consistent. The 15 db aided audiogram I’m referring to was from a few years ago with BOTH hearing aids. The 45 db aided audiogram that’s posted on this blog is just with the left ear aided. I’ve always had to have both hearing aids and could never benefit much from just one aid for some reason.I did try out all hearing aids I possibly could before deciding on getting a CI. It was a difficult decision as I didn’t know if I would benefit anymore from a CI than I already did from my HA. I do think there needs to be a way to educate audiologists and encourage them to try these type of hearing aids not just ones that amplify sounds before rushing to implant. I use the ImpaCt AVR hearing aids. Their website gives more info. http://www.avrsono.com/Feel free to ask any questions. It’s nice knowing there’s someone out there who is familiar with frequency transposition/compression HAs.I will check out the piano test.

  8. Do you have any type of instant messenger? Much easier to talk in real time.I never even heard about AVR Sonovation nor did any of my audiologists. I had the Widex Senso from 1998 to 2008 and now this Phonak Naida. Do tell me more about your transposition. What frequencies are being transported down to what frequencies? What’s the cutoff?Interesting results you have on that piano test, you should retry it on a desktop with a proper speaker and see how results differ. Does your HA have the option to turn off transposition? If so, can you compare the differences? Howcome you are missing some of the mid frequencies still?Could you scan and post your other audiograms, including with your right ear and aided scores with both HAs? Ill be able to learn more and work with my audiologist to reprogram my HAs so I hear even better than I currently do. Should I be hearing better than 15db at 250Hz with only 70db HL? What about better than 25db at 500Hz with 90db HL? (my audiograms are in my blog)Itll be much easier to communicate in realtime with instant messenger. Feel free to read my other posts in my blog, ive learned alot and have shared some of this.

  9. ———-I am learning all I can about HAs so I can have the best possible HAs. You are right, CI candidacy criteria is too lax nowdays and I am surprised how some can qualify for CI despite having enough residual hearing to benefit great from the best HAs. If they want to pay the $50,000 out of pocket, their choice but insurance shouldn’t foot the bill if they are benefitting from HAs!————Right now, CIs are quite a money-making industry. I’m sure there’s a ton of lobbying going on by both the CI companies and doctors to keep the gravy train open with the insurance companies. Whereas with hearing aids, the only companies that benefit are the distributors – and since HAs are maybe thousands, but not tens of thousands of dollars, there’s not that much money to be made from ’em, thus less lobbying overall.

  10. Deafdude: I have both AIM and MSN. I’m not familiar with all the details of the cutoffs and the transposition with my hearing aid but will see what I can find out. I have had them since I was 8 so it’s the norm to me.Most audiologists haven’t head of AVR Sonovation. There are only 2 audiologists in my area who can program my hearing aids. I do need to try the piano test sometime again. The speakers on my laptop aren’t great and then with the annoying fan thrown in there. I am curious as to if I would do better with better speakers and a less noisy computer. :-)Let me know if you would like to IM at some point.

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