Skip to main content

“In February 2013, I suddenly lost the hearing in my right ear. The loss was accompanied by extreme vertigo. No cause for the loss was ever determined. Until that time I had been blessed with excellent hearing. The loss and accompanying side effects were devastating. UNC Cochlear Implant Patient Testimonial The otolaryngology group [where I live] tried all the known strategies to recover my hearing. Unfortunately, nothing worked. I was offered assistive devices, such as [Contralateral Routing of the Signal (CROS)] hearing aids, but they were not effective.Following the loss, I began researching the problem of single-sided deafness and learned that, in Europe, individuals with a similar hearing loss were benefiting from the use of cochlear implants. My reading led me to learn about Craig Buchman, a cochlear implant surgeon at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I contacted Dr. Buchman’s office and, in July 2014, I was able to arrange an appointment. Based on his evaluation, he suggested that I might qualify for a clinical trial aimed at evaluating the use of cochlear implants for individuals with single-sided hearing loss. Dr. Buchman arranged for me to meet Meg Dillon, the audiologist that was leading this study. That meeting, and my acceptance into the study, changed my life!!Meg and her team were amazing. They immediately made me feel comfortable and confident. I was given tremendous support in the process of rehabilitation. I spent many hours with Meg and Meredith Anderson Rooth, as they quantified the results of the implant. They were passionate about this work. But, just as important, they were sincerely interested helping me. I will never forget their kindness and compassion.The results of this trial led the FDA to approve cochlear implants for the treatment of single-sided deafness. I can personally attest to the benefits! I cannot imagine how much different my life would be without this device. I continue to participate in follow-up studies with Dr. Dillon and her team. They have become part of my family. For that, I am truly blessed.” -Rich