A registered nurse, Donna Brown has experienced deteriorating hearing over three decades. Although Donna remembers having some troubles with her hearing as a child, it wasn’t until 1985 that she had her first hearing test.
“I had instances where I couldn’t hear things such as the phone ringing and kettle boiling, but I was told I did not need hearing aids and that there wasn’t anything available for my hearing deficit,” Donna says.
It wasn’t until the late 1990s when Donna noticed that she wasn’t hearing as well as she needed to, that she knew she needed to seek a solution.
In 2000 Donna began wearing hearing aids, but they didn’t provide as much help as she needed.
Donna was implanted with her first Cochlear Hybrid™ System, in her left ear, in 2008. “I was the sixth person in Australia to have this new technology – part implant and part hearing aid,” she explains.
“I kept a diary and noted that within a week of being switched on my hearing improved so much. It progressed to where I could hear music again, television, and talk on the phone.”
After experiencing gradual deterioration in her right ear, in October 2009 she received her second Hybrid System.
“Gradually my hearing improved, and I was very happy to have what I considered ‘normal’ hearing.”
Donna now uses the latest Cochlear Nucleus® 6 Hybrid technology. “And what a difference!” she says. “I noted straight away that I was so much better off.
“With the smaller ear piece and smaller behind the ear equipment I can use my iPhone and home phone now. I can watch television, not requiring subtitles all the time. I find that I can hear in difficult surroundings and hardly ever need to do adjusting myself.
“One of the best rewards for me is that I can hear my young grandson and am able to talk and communicate with him.”
Now retired, Donna and her husband have travelled extensively.
“I have also learnt to play Bridge and do so a couple of times each week; I have joined Lions and do volunteer work to raise funds for them; I also mind my young grandson two days each week,” Donna says.
“I have plenty to keep me occupied. My hearing is not holding me back, and I am very pleased to say I feel confident that my quality of hearing is so good and directly related to the Cochlear technology I have been lucky to have accessed.”