At the age of 49, school teacher Janet Horgan sought help for progressive hearing loss.
She was soon diagnosed with otosclerosis, characterised by the abnormal bone growth near her inner ear. The condition left her with severe to profound hearing loss in both ears.
Janet can recall how she turned to hearing aids to help with everyday listening needs. Although hearing aids provided some benefit, Janet was constantly adjusting her lifestyle to deal with the hearing impairment.
“I used a hearing aid on my right ear, but still really struggled to listen to the television and participate in day to day conversation. In particular, social outings and meetings were very difficult to feel involved in,” said Janet.
The pressure to do something to improve her hearing increased when she became a full time carer for her husband following a stroke. It was a huge turning point because she was no longer just responsible for her own listening needs, but also those of her husband. Although she continued to trial different sets of hearing aids, she was unable to acquire enough clarity and her hearing was progressively getting worse.
She was referred to Winthrop Professor Marcus Atlas and the Ear Science Clinic team to assess her suitability for a cochlear implant. This was the start of her journey to better hearing. A full medical and audiological review of her hearing indicated that she was a suitable candidate for a cochlear implant on the left ear. Although the hearing on the right ear was limited she could continue using a hearing aid on that side. “I am fortunate to have an incredible group of family and friends who are always there for me and willing to help.