Mother-of-three who was born deaf now complains her husband eats too NOISILY after surgery means she can finally hear
- Louise Windsor, 41, has been deaf for all of her life until surgery
- Became 1,000th patient to have cochlear implant at Bristol Royal Infirmary
- Device means she can hear birds and family’s voices for the first time
- But also means she can chastise husband for watching the TV ‘too loud’
A mother-of-three who was born deaf is now hearing for the first time thanks to surgery – and is already nagging her husband for being too loud.
Louise Windsor, 41, from Bristol, has spent the last four decades in virtual silence.
But after having a cochlear implant, she is now able to enjoy the sounds of birds and music but admits she gets irritated by other things.
Mrs Windsor, a dinner lady, said: ‘I can hear birds outside, I can hear an aeroplane and even my dishwasher.
Louise Windsor is now able to tell her husband off for eating too noisily after a cochlear implant meant she is now able to hear for the first time
‘It’s emotional hearing my husband’s voice. It has changed my life.
‘At first it was hard and took a while to get used to people talking but now I can hear most things.
‘I’ve always lip read so I still do that naturally.’
Her husband Mark, 41, says while he is thrilled his wife can hear, he is already being told he eats too noisily – and has the TV up too loud.
‘If you’re eating a packet of crisps it does her head in,’ he said.
‘Now we find she is the one telling us to keep it down – when I have Coronation Street on she’ll turn the volume down.’
Mrs Windsor, from Wellington in Somerset, became the 1,000th patient to have had the procedure at the Bristol Royal Infirmary.
She heard about the operation through a friend and was referred by her GP.
Louise Windsor became the 1,000th patient to have the life-changing procedure at the Royal Bristol Infirmary
For the procedure, a cochlear implant, similar to a mini-microphone, was put into her ear.
The device sends information as electrical impulses directly to the nerve.
Surgeon Philip Robinson and his team drilled through the bone and into the inner ear.
A 2.5mm hole in a slot of just 4mm was then created – avoiding both the ear drum and the facial nerve.
Mr Robinson then threaded a string of electrodes into a hole the size of the head of a needle.
After a four-week wait the device was switched on.
Mr Windsor said it was a special moment when they left hospital and she could hear for the first time.
‘We were sat outside having coffee and she could hear birds in the trees and a car 200 yards away.
‘Everyone – friends and family – are all so pleased for her.’
HOW DOES A COCHLEAR IMPLANT WORK?
Cochlear implants have an external sound processor and internal parts
Cochlear implants are small hearing devices fitted under the skin behind the ear during surgery.
They have an external sound processor and internal parts, including a receiver coil, an electronics package and a long wire with electrodes on it (an electrode array).
The external processor takes in sound, analyses it and then converts it to signals that are transmitted across the skin to an internal receiver-stimulator, which sends the signals along the electrode array into a part of the inner ear called the cochlea.
The signal is then sent to the brain along the hearing nerve as normal.
This means cochlear implants are only suitable for people whose hearing nerves are functioning normally.
A cochlear implant is sometimes recommended for adults or children who have severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears, which isn’t helped by hearing aids.
Both ears are usually implanted for children, whereas adults are usually only able to have one implant on the NHS.
If a cochlear implant is recommended, it will be inserted into the ear (or both ears) during an operation and switched on a few weeks later.
There are currently around 11,000 people in the UK with cochlear implants and the number is increasing each year.
Source: NHS Choices
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