A woman from the North of England has had her hearing restored after having an ‘invisible’ hearing device implanted.
Linda Oxley received the Cochlear Carina implant.
Linda Oxley, 67, is the fourth person in the UK to be given the implant which has been designed for people with severe hearing loss and who can no longer benefit from traditional hearing aids.
Repeated ear infections meant that Linda couldn’t do simple things such as shopping as she couldn’t hear what people were saying. Now Linda says her quality of life has improved.
“My life has changed beyond belief. As soon as the implant was switched on I could tell the difference straight away. I could hear traffic, people whistling, dogs barking, even hear the owl at night.”
The surgery was performed at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust by Professor Jaydip Ray, a consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon. The Cochlear Carina hearing device is implanted into the fine bones of a woman’s middle ear, making it unseen from outside of the scalp.
The device uses a microphone and implant processor to pick up sounds from the outside world. A mechanical driver is connected to the parts, which is positioned inside the mastoid bone behind the ear. This allows sounds to be transferred from the outside world to the fine bone of the middle ear. Linda Oxley continued: "I couldn’t hear what people were saying and I began to feel depressed and not go out as much. When I did venture out I used to put my head down and hope that people didn’t see me so that I did not have to speak to them because I could not hear what they would say to me. I get choked up when I think about it, let’s just say cornflakes and crisps are a new experience. I’m really lucky to have had this operation. It’s been absolutely brilliant.”
Professor Jaydip Ray, who undertook the operation at Sheffield’s Hallamshire Hospital, said: “The device is fully implantable, there’s nothing to show on the outside, and the duration for charging is exactly the same as an episode of Emmerdale or EastEnders. It works beautifully as it doesn’t need to be switched on or off, and it gives 24/7 hearing.”