I got this question from a reader (Candy):
Kim’s post send me here, and I really like your post. What gets me amazed is that I do have that problem some of the time and I never knew there was a word for it! 😉
Do you have implants now? and, if so, does it helps get rid of recruitment? If it does, then it would be a good reason for me to get it and stop procrastinating! 😉
Instead of answering Candy directly, I think everybody who has read my original post about the phenomenon called “recruitment”, also deserves to see my response:
Yes I have one CI now, and expect to get the second sometime this summer.
After the first CI I went back to adjust my last hearing aid to fit comfortably sound wise. I had not been able to wear both the HA and the CI, it turned my stomach inside out.
I had not used the HA for almost 4 months, since I was very focused on getting up to par with the new CI. I tried occasionally, but took it out again. Hence the needed re-adjustment for lower sound.
They told me afterwards, I had asked to get the sound reduced 20 dB! That is a lot of sound (pressure)! I can now wear the HA, but I don’t get much out of the HA alone. Together with the CI it might fill the deepest bass-part of music, otherwise it’s useless for me. I don’t wear it, since I love to be free of the ear-molds! Finally no more itching, oozing, rash and whatnot… Dry comfortable ears after more than 30 years of chronic skin problems in my ears. Hooray 😀
Most hearing aid users with progressive hearing loss (slowly reduced) tend to, like I did, to maximize the hearing aids over time. I asked for so much sound in the end, that it actually was TOO much.
I think I turned my hearing aids so loud that it in turn gave me the tinnitus-problems I later and now still struggle with…
I did not know that then, but understand it now, in retrospect, years later, after being burnt out, and gone through some rough times. I wrote a lot of posts about this process, you can check the back-log of my blog for those stories (sorry about the amount of material, and that it is no index or anything like that :-( ).
Candy, the recruitment problem is gone now. The CI helps me to hear and understand speech. It is now, more than 6 months since activation, on about the same level as I had with two HA. And with a lot of time and room for improvement yet to come :-) (that’s the best part!)
BUT, I have to tell you; it’s not a walk in the park. It’s a major head surgery, and the rehabilitation and sound training afterwards takes years! It takes it toll on you and your loved ones around you. My personal experience is that I had an emotional and psychological roller coaster. It was not fun for anyone. I don’t want to paint an unrealistic picture of the ordeal, because it really is the last resort! You ask for CI when it costs you too much to use HA in everyday life.
I wish I had asked for it before I went over the burnt-out experience, maybe I would still be in the ordinary working life today. And maybe I could have saved myself many sad and difficult moments. But as they say; it’s no use in crying over spilt milk. What has happened has happened. It didn’t kill me, it just made me stronger.
The CI has already given me a better life, getting rid of the recruitment is a huge part of that!
I’m looking forward to getting my second implant, and certainly looking forward to harvest the benefits of becoming bilateral, especially in difficult and noisy sound surroundings.
Hope this answered your question, Candy? 🙂