Imagine if you suddenly lost three of your five senses! This was a reality for Victor Makoski, USA.
Removing an acoustic neuroma in 2007 left Victor totally deaf on his left side. He also lost his sense of smell and taste, but considers himself fortunate to not have been facially paralysed. Thanks to the advanced medical technologies of today, at least one of his senses could be restored.
As he waited to be fitted with his sound processor, Victor found it a struggle not being able to hear. He was constantly tired, trying to make sense of the muffled sounds he couldn’t interpret. Gradually he withdrew from conversations and social activities. He would get frustrated because he couldn’t understand what was being said and had to ask his wife to repeat others.
Getting his Baha sound processor was a relief.
“When they turned it on I noticed it was different than natural hearing”, Victor recalls. “But I heard – that was the most important thing! And over time, the sound became normal to me. Soon, I even forgot what hearing without the Baha sound processor was like.”
Having the Baha System has greatly enhanced his quality of life.
“I am able to function better in conferences, meetings and social settings. As far as recreational activities go, I love to snow ski, water ski, paddle board, kayak, bike, paint and enjoy life. I still do all the activities I love. I love listening to music. I wear my Baha Sound Processor all day. The only time I take it off is around water.”
Victor is a volunteer for Cochlear USA and also involved in the Acoustic Neuroma Association. Talking about the Baha solution is important to him.
“I think people should be aware of the options out there for hearing loss. I am very proud of my Baha System. When people ask what it is, I explain it to them, how it transfers sound from my deaf side to my good ‘hearing’ side. The other day at a doctor’s office I met some folks considering the Baha System. None of them had an acoustic neuroma, but they all had single-sided deafness. I was able to share what it was like to wear and use a Baha System every day. Even when you try bone conduction on a Baha Softband, it’s hard to imagine living with it. When I had the sound processor fitted after surgery, I was amazed by what it could do, that bone conduction was occurring in my head, and I could get a sense of sound back on my deaf side. I think it is a remarkable device, and people who need it should know about this option!”
Read more: When is a Baha System right for me?