Author Topic: Transear - tell me about it!  (Read 28449 times)

anissa

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Transear - tell me about it!
« on: October 19, 2010, 09:21:53 pm »
The last posts I've found regarding Transear were from the beginning of the year so I'm hoping those of you using it will check in here.  I am starting to think about getting Transear and researching a little.  Found the website (www.transear.com) and it looks great but I have to hear it from the people who really know.  YOU!

I called my ENT's office today and spoke with the audiologist who'd never heard of it.  She's looked through the website and is going to call the company tomorrow to see what she can find out.  Her concern is that the oscillator will not have the power to get the vibrations to the bone and also worried about frequency.  I'm sure she used more technical words but that is what I remember, ha ha.

The things I've read here about Transear, especially the newest version, have been good.  I imagine it's not as, oh what's the word, on the same level as the BAHA because the BAHA is connected to the bone but I'm interested in the least invasive option (and cheapest?) so it looks good to me.  Is it as great as the brochure makes it sound? It mentions directional hearing but I have no expectations on that. How about insurance, anybody have insurance pay for it/towards it?

I'm a stay-at-home-mom who'd like to sit at a table in a restaurant with friends and hear the whole conversation, go to church/store and hear someone say 'hi' to me on my deaf side.  Even if I don't know where it comes from at least I'll hear it! Oh! For those of you who have it, can you talk on the phone on your deaf side?

I know this is scattered but I'd love to hear any reviews/suggestions/input.  Thanks in advance!
Anissa
2/11/09 Diagnosed AN 2.1cm
2/26/09 Consult with Dr. Clough Shelton, U of Utah
4/1/09 Translab with Shelton & Couldwell
--little teensy bit of tumor or cells on facial nerve, stuck! No facial weakness, Rt side SSD
4/8/10 1-yr MRI, "Looks great!"

leapyrtwins

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Re: Transear - tell me about it!
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2010, 10:01:32 pm »
Anissa -

as you know, I'm a BAHA wearer so I can't give you any firsthand experience about the TransEar.

However, I can tell you that I've talked to my neurotologist (who did my AN surgery and my BAHA implant) about it and he tells me that it's a great option for those who are SSD.  His patients who wear TransEars are very happy with them and like what they hear.  He said that in the past there were some wiring issues with the TransEar - which gave it a "bad" reputation for a while - but it's been greatly improved for some time now.

Hope this helps,

Jan
Retrosig 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
Left AN 3.0 cm (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD. BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010 BAHA 5 8/2015

I don't actually "make" trouble..just kind of attract it, fine tune it, and apply it in new and exciting ways

anissa

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Re: Transear - tell me about it!
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2010, 10:20:24 pm »
That is encouraging, thanks for telling me that! It's always nice to hear good comments from a doctor, they hear all the stories!
Anissa
2/11/09 Diagnosed AN 2.1cm
2/26/09 Consult with Dr. Clough Shelton, U of Utah
4/1/09 Translab with Shelton & Couldwell
--little teensy bit of tumor or cells on facial nerve, stuck! No facial weakness, Rt side SSD
4/8/10 1-yr MRI, "Looks great!"

6pick

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Re: Transear - tell me about it!
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2010, 05:11:22 pm »
Anissa,

I'm glad you posted, considering what to do about my nearly SSD is exactly what I need to do next.

I had CK last week at Stanford U and now I think it's a good time to begin considering what to do about my nearly SSD. The BAHA seems to get lots of good press, but since I of the balding persuasion, wearing my hair long enough to cover the box (at least my perception is that the external component of the BAHA has a box like shape) wouldn't work without me looking like a 60s throwback wannabe.

Have you looked at the SoundBite? it looks like Arasha began a thread on October 15, 2009 called "GOOD NEWS...NEW INVENTION FOR SSD... Sounds good for us!!!!" in this same category (Hearing Issues). I stumbled upon it one day while "surfing" but I haven't been back because I had other bridges to cross first. I believe she is/was involved in the testing of the product. The last posts indicates that FDA approval is next with marketing in 2011. What do you think?

http://www.wsoctv.com/health/24285680/detail.html

http://www.sonitusmedical.com/product/

http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/05/24/soundbite-a-hearing-aid-that-transmits-sound-through-teeth-and-bones/


Mark
5/21/10 diagnosis: Left side AN: size 25X17; tinnitus with variable volume, garbled word recognition, disequilibrium.

10/11/10 CK treatment@Stanford; Drs. Chang, Gibbs, Lieberson size 25 x 20 x 15 mm

4/24/12 size 23 X 20 X 15 no hearing change

Goldie

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Re: Transear - tell me about it!
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2010, 08:35:53 pm »
If I remember correctly, when I first visited with my audiologist, she said TransEar is not covered by insurance because it doesn't involve a surgical procedure, whereas the first BAHA is because it's considered surgical (replacements down the road are not covered).  I have no idea on the cost of TransEar, but I think I would start by checking on coverage with the insurance company.  I hope some others who have experience with it will chime in.

Denise D.
GK 5/06 at Mayo for small AN after balance and slight hearing issues.  Progressive hearing loss following GK.
3/09 - facial spasms began.  MRI shows tumor growth.
9/09 - MRI shows further growth.  "GK failure."  Translab 10/1/09 success!  BAHA 10/8/10.

leapyrtwins

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Re: Transear - tell me about it!
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2010, 08:51:17 pm »
Denise -

if an insurance policy doesn't cover hearing aids - and the majority of them don't - the TransEar isn't covered, since it's classified as a hearing aid.

The BAHA is not a hearing aid, it's an implant or a prosthesis, which is why insurance companies do cover it.  Sometimes it takes a little convincing on the patient's and the doctor's part, but Cochlear has a new division (called OMS) that helps BAHA candidates get the surgery and the processor paid for.

As far as replacement processors or upgrades go, I've heard that many people have an insurance policy that will pay for a new processor every 5 years.  Although I upgraded in April to the BP100, my Divino was only 2 years old at the time, so I didn't ask my insurance company to pay for it.  I paid for it myself out of my flexible spending account at work.  But next time, if it's been 5 years since I got my first BAHA (my Divino), I'm going to see what my insurance policy says about coverage.

Pick -

BAHAs are not for everyone - for lots of reasons - but I wouldn't worry too much about having a "box" on your head if you think the BAHA might be right for you.  Obviously it's a personal choice, but I've seen many men with BAHAs and CI's (Cochlear Implants) on their heads and they all wore them proudly.  Lots of times in life you have to do what you feel is best for you and if you choose to get a "box" on your head that bothers other people, that's not really your issue, it's theirs.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Jan
Retrosig 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
Left AN 3.0 cm (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD. BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010 BAHA 5 8/2015

I don't actually "make" trouble..just kind of attract it, fine tune it, and apply it in new and exciting ways

Brewers7

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Re: Transear - tell me about it!
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2010, 12:44:52 pm »
I just received word yesterday that my insurance will cover the transear!  (I previously considered a BAHA but because of my previous surgical complications, the otologist suggested that I consider a nonsurgical option such as Tranear.)
Translab surgery 12/15/2008 followed by CSF leakage repair and 3 additional surgeries for MRSA of the brain (NOT typical) SSD,  facial and vocal cord paralysis, numerous reconstructive surgeries, Transear 12/2010

6pick

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Re: Transear - tell me about it!
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2010, 01:50:41 pm »
You're absolutely right Jan, I have to do what I feel is best for me and if I choose to get a "box" on my head then it's my business. I have a lot yet to learn about all the options available to me so be ready for questions  :D 
5/21/10 diagnosis: Left side AN: size 25X17; tinnitus with variable volume, garbled word recognition, disequilibrium.

10/11/10 CK treatment@Stanford; Drs. Chang, Gibbs, Lieberson size 25 x 20 x 15 mm

4/24/12 size 23 X 20 X 15 no hearing change

Jeanlea

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Re: Transear - tell me about it!
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2010, 08:06:20 pm »
I've had the TransEar for 3 1/2 years now.  I started with an older version and got upgraded to the newest version about a year ago.  There were problems with the wires in the past, but my new version has not had any wire problems.  While nothing will be the same as your old hearing, the TransEar does help.  I tend to notice it the most when I don't have the TransEar in.  It does give me some hearing on my deaf side.  I miss much less of any conversation while I'm wearing it.  It does not help much in a very noisy environment though.  I have not found any help with directionality either.  I get my directionality by turning my head to see where the sound is the loudest. 

The transear is very comfortable for me to wear.  I don't even notice it's in my ear during the day.  The newest version is much better at distinguishing conversation too.  I found an audiologist willing to work with me and the TransEar company.  The audiologist had not done one before but got a lot of help from the company.  One important thing to remember is to get a "deep impression" when making the mold for your TransEar. 

All in all, I'm very happy with my TransEar.  I wasn't interested in having something permanently attached to my head although many people don't mind it at all. 

If you have more questions I'd be happy to answer them on here or through a PM.

Jean
translab on 3.5+ cm tumor
September 6, 2005
Drs. Friedland and Meyer
Milwaukee, WI
left-side facial paralysis and numbness
TransEar for SSD

Cynaburst

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Re: Transear - tell me about it!
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2010, 09:44:28 pm »
I also have a Transear.  I had the old version for a year or two (it broke ALOT) and then I upgraded to the newest version last year.  To be honest, it broke recently too, although it wasn't the wire this time.  I finally got them to give me an extra wire so I could change it out myself since it broke so many times.

Anyway, it definitely helps my hearing.  I am not sure that it really gives me any directional sound, but it certainly helps with conversations and the dead side effect.  My speech discrimination in my deaf ear really improved with the new version.  I am unwilling to get a screw put in my skull, so this is as far as I can go due to some other health issues.

I find it pretty comfortable, though I have to take it out to let my ear rest a bit when I wear it all day.  It was not covered by my insurance, and it cost me about $2800 or so.

bre2you

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Re: Transear - tell me about it!
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2010, 05:50:56 pm »
Hi Annissa,

I got my transear two weeks ago today.  The first day I wore it for over 8 hours and I had a horrible headache when I took it out.  I was ready to give it back, but I decided to try it again in moderation and gradually migrate to all day wear.  While wearing it the other day, I decided to put my cell phone up to my deaf ear while listening to voice mail messages.  I could actually hear the message (although it was low).  While sitting in a meeting a work, I was able to hear the person on my deaf side without turning my head towards them.  There is a 30 day FREE trial period.  The transear can be returned with no cost to you within that time period if it does not work for you.  My insurance will cover 80% of the cost after I meet my deductible.

Good Luck!
Bridget
Bridget
2.8cm AN removed July 14, 2008
translab; SSD
Michigan Ear Institute
Dr. Dennis Bojrab --- Dr. Daniel Pieper

anissa

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Re: Transear - tell me about it!
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2010, 10:47:38 am »
Bridget, glad to hear it's working out for you, that is so encouraging to me! Especially being able to hear anything on the deaf side without having to look there, cool! 

My audiologist is getting info from the company, they've never done one although they do AN surgeries often.  They do the BAHA and that's it. She's very skeptical of the Transear having the power to push the vibrations to the bone. I like hearing from you all though because you actually know! I hope they are willing to give it a shot.  I also need to call my insurance to see what if any they would cover.  I do really like the money back guarantee.

I'm also now starting to think of the BAHA and I still need to check out the soundbyte technology.

Thanks for all your replies!
Anissa
2/11/09 Diagnosed AN 2.1cm
2/26/09 Consult with Dr. Clough Shelton, U of Utah
4/1/09 Translab with Shelton & Couldwell
--little teensy bit of tumor or cells on facial nerve, stuck! No facial weakness, Rt side SSD
4/8/10 1-yr MRI, "Looks great!"

Kaybo

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Re: Transear - tell me about it!
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2010, 12:36:56 pm »
Anissa~
I don't have either but I went to my 1st support group meeting here Saturday and they had an audiologist there - she was mainly supposed to speak about the TransEar but did talk about everything.  One thing that I did not know (& you probably do) is HOW DEEP the TransEar goes into your ear - OH MY GOODNESS - I'm aftraid it will protrude out my belly button!!  WOW!  It was LONG - they even offer lubrication if you need it to get it in!  One thing that she stressed was if you have a super curvy canal, it MIGHT not be as comfortable.  Again, I am NOT a Dr. or a wearer so I can't tell you expert advice or from experience...just passing along what I heard!

Good Luck!
K   ;D
Translab 12/95@Houston Methodist(Baylor College of Medicine)for "HUGE" tumor-no size specified
25 yrs then-14 hour surgery-stroke
12/7 Graft 1/97
Gold Weight x 5
SSD
Facial Paralysis-R(no movement or feelings in face,mouth,eye)
T3-3/08
Great life!

anissa

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Re: Transear - tell me about it!
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2010, 12:45:46 pm »
Oh wow, I didn't know that and I doubt my audiologist realizes that.  That far down (farther than the outer ear but not quite to the belly button ;) ) certainly would reach the bone!  I'm so anxious to try it! Thanks for telling me!
Anissa
2/11/09 Diagnosed AN 2.1cm
2/26/09 Consult with Dr. Clough Shelton, U of Utah
4/1/09 Translab with Shelton & Couldwell
--little teensy bit of tumor or cells on facial nerve, stuck! No facial weakness, Rt side SSD
4/8/10 1-yr MRI, "Looks great!"

bre2you

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Re: Transear - tell me about it!
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2010, 01:24:58 pm »
It goes DEEP into the ear canal ... my audiologist said it goes to jaw bone.  You do get non-oily gel lubricant to put on it and it helps to hold your ear lobe down while putting it in.  I always feel that it's in my ear, but it does not hurt.  There is a 30-day trail period, so I would definitely recomend giving it a try. 
Bridget
2.8cm AN removed July 14, 2008
translab; SSD
Michigan Ear Institute
Dr. Dennis Bojrab --- Dr. Daniel Pieper