“The World Is Full of Beautiful Sounds. The CI Gave Them Back to Me.” The story from being deaf to becoming an audiologist

Read more Last updated: August 2020
In collection Hearing
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Nashlea's road to success

The main reason Canadian Nashlea Brogan decided to get a cochlear implant (CI) was for her children’s sakes. “I had huge difficulties understanding children’s voices“ says Nashlea, mother to a son and a daughter. She wanted to hear and understand her children properly so she decided to have two cochlear implants.

In 2012, at the age of 35, she received her first CI, and her second in 2013. She was born with healthy hearing, but it deteriorated. When, at the age of 14, she had a hearing test, she was found to have a severe hearing loss at high frequencies. The problems became worse and at the age of 18 she needed a hearing aid. Her hearing loss is hereditary – her uncle and her younger sister have the same impairment. But there were other reasons for the CI, besides the children: “I couldn’t use the telephone or understand the words in songs,” she explains.

Now all that has changed. Whereas in places with background noise, she used to hear just a fuzzy hissing, now she can distinguish every single sound within the noise. Now if she’s driving and an ambulance approaches, she can give way in time. Even her relationship with her husband has become easier because she no longer relies on him to help her understand other people.

Nashlea loves listening to music, going to the theatre and cinema, and watching television without subtitles. When it comes to sounds of nature, she positively waxes lyrical. “I can hear the waves on the beach, the sound of the wind, the crickets at night and the birds in the day,” she says. “The world is full of beautiful sounds. The CI gave them back to me.”

“I can hear the waves, the wind and the crickets”

Nashlea Brogan

Her experience inspired her to become an audiologist herself. Nashlea now owns three hearing clinics under the brand Bluewater Hearing. Many a patient must envy her for her fast progress: “I understood language immediately after the initial activation but in the beginning the voices sounded like they were under water.” Hour by hour it became better. Then in just eight weeks, she could use the telephone.

As far as water was concerned, she used to be scared of it because she wanted to avoid the expensive CI getting wet. Now that there are waterproof covers available, even a day at the beach is no problem any more. The only way she hears voices that sound like they’re underwater is by diving down herself!


Traveling with a cochlear implant

Holiday season is probably the most beautiful time of the year for many people. Despite this year's travel restrictions, the MED-EL blog has listed some useful tips when it comes to going on vacation with a cochlear implant.

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