BENDIGO resident Wendy Hawke was one of 21 people selected to trial the Cochlear’s next generation implant ahead of its Australia-wide launch.
Bendigo resident is one of first to trial new Cochlear invention
For me, it’s just wonderful to feel part of the human race again
The Nucleus 6 is powered by a new custom designed microchip, enabling the device to automatically determine the various sound environments including speech, wind and music.
Ms Hawke is in her 70s and had a Nucleus 5 implanted on her right side in July 2011.
Ms Hawke said she began losing her hearing in her 60s but it wasn't until her husband died and she was forced to live on her own that she was prompted to do something about her declining hearing.
“Without the implant I would be driving and wondering why everyone was slowing down because I couldn’t hear the boom gates going down over a crossing,” she said
“I now feel comfortable talking on the phone and it feels good to be able to participate in discussions and be able to follow a conversation.
"I no longer feel so isolated in a crowd, and think even my family and friends have a new appreciation of being able to hear, something that is easily taken for granted.
"For me, it’s just wonderful to feel part of the human race again.”
Ms Hawke said the Nucleus 5 has given her a new lease on life and was more than happy to take part in the Nucleus 6 trial.
"What I've got, I'm more than happy with," she said.
"But this is probably an upmarket model and it's got more features that I thought would be very good when I did the trial.
"I was very pleased with it so I'm very enthusiastic about getting a new one which has now been released.
"They're improving all the time and apparently this is a new innovation that will be a lot more compact which I'm pleased about."
Ms Hawke said she experienced sharper sound quality with the Nucleus 6
“The Nucleus 6 adjusts the sensitivity to the noise environment, making it an altogether better experience,” she said.
“And because each component is smaller, it is more comfortable to wear.”
The Nucleus 6 is now available in Australia and Ms Hawke is hoping to get the new device soon.
"They've said January or February," she said.
Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital audiologist Michelle Moran said the device was a fantastic option for cochlear implant recipients with preserved low frequency hearing.
"Nucleus 6 brings with it the capability of electric and acoustic stimulation all in one modern processor," Ms Moran said.