For retired swimming teacher, Suzie, a cochlear implant has proved to be life changing.
“When I turned 50, I started to experience severe vertigo attacks and after several tests was eventually diagnosed with Meniere’s disease and hearing loss in my right ear,” said Suzie.
“I was referred to a specialist and received injections in my middle ear to treat my vertigo episodes, knowing that the small amount of hearing I had left would disappear. But I also knew I was a candidate for a cochlear implant and shortly after was referred to SCIC Cochlear Implant Program.”
As soon as Suzie’s cochlear implant was switched on, life changed.
“Once my cochlear implant was switched on, I got my life back – it really was a life changing experience! I no longer felt isolated and was able to drive again. The outdoors and my surroundings felt safe again – walking to the shops was enjoyable as I could hear traffic and people behind me,” said Suzie.
“I now feel less isolated and am part of the conversation again. My eldest granddaughter, Abigail, was the first voice that I learnt to recognise – I was overjoyed. I’m also enjoying listening to the waves lapping onto the shore and being able to hear the other boats around me when I’m kayaking with my waterproof cochlear implant.”
What would Suzie say to other people who might be considering a cochlear implant?
“The decision to have a cochlear implant is a personal one and it’s really up to the individual. It is very different from a hearing aid, but when you get used to it you wouldn’t know you have it on – it’s like putting on my glasses for the day,” said Suzie.
SCIC Cochlear Implant Program supports clients to access a range of implantable hearing devices according to their needs. The program provides a seamless, end-to-end suite of services, from early intervention and education; through to specialist assessment; surgical liaison and support; and rehabilitation services, delivering the highest level of care and support to people of all ages.
For more information about cochlear implants or SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, visit ridbc.org.au/scic or call 1300 581 391.