Yagoona resident thriving with cochlear implant during Hearing Awareness Week

One year old, Austin, is thriving with his cochlear implant.

During Hearing Awareness Week, 20 – 26 August, 2017, RIDBC advises that there is no age limit for a cochlear implant. If you are struggling to hear, even with hearing aids, a cochlear implant may be for you.

Today, one in six Australians is deaf, hearing impaired or has a chronic ear disorder. As technology advances, there are more possibilities than ever before for Australians with hearing loss to continue to enjoy their involvement in the community and prosper in their workplace.

Unlike hearing aids, cochlear implants don’t just make sounds louder, they stimulate the hearing nerves directly providing access to higher quality, more detailed sound at close to normal levels. For some types of hearing loss, cochlear implants have shown significant improvements in speech recognition and can play an important role in gaining your life back.

"The benefits of cochlear implantation are abundant and have been well documented. Benefits include better communication, increased quality of life, improved speech recognition and greater independence for those with moderate-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss," said RIDBC Audiologist, Eleanor McKendrick.

"It is important to remember that there are no age limitations for a cochlear implant. This has been proven through the implantation and success of recipients in their late nineties. RIDBC’s SCIC Cochlear Implant Program works to provide outcomes tailored to each individual.”

For the mother of Yagoona resident Austin, a cochlear implant has proven to be life changing for her one year old son. 

"Cochlear implants have helped a lot. It has helped Austin become closer to sound and in harmony with nature. Austin can hear birds singing, hear what we say to him and he responds back verbally. It has not only changed his life but has changed the life of our whole family,” said Austin’s mother, Anh.

At 11 months of age Austin received a cochlear implant through SCIC Cochlear Implant Program.

“Austin is very lucky to have been born in Australia. He received his cochlear implant at Westmead Children’s Hospital surrounded by a great team of doctors and nurses, along with enthusiastic and loving social workers. We are so thankful for the RIDBC staff who treated us very warmly and guided us through the process of adapting to a cochlear implant,” she said.

Austin’s mother recommends that anyone struggling with their hearing should investigate the options available.

“The Austin of today is thankful to the SCIC Cochlear Implant Program. The love and help received from everyone, especially the dedicated teachers, has improved the life of Austin and our family. We are so grateful to those people and for doing so, we promise to always help Austin with his learning and enable him to integrate into our community.”

SCIC Cochlear Implant Program, an RIDBC service, 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.

With 18 sites across Australia, RIDBC enables you to access services from any one of our centres. For those in regional and remote locations, our advanced videoconferencing and device mapping technology enables us to deliver services directly into your home, no matter where you live.

For more information about cochlear implants and the support services available, visit ridbc.org.au/scic or call 1300 658 981.

RIDBC is a charity and Australia’s largest non-government provider of therapy, education and cochlear implant services for people with vision or hearing loss, supporting thousands of adults, children and their families, each year.

RIDBC relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in people's lives.