After wearing hearing aids for most of his life, Melbourne man Ange Karsakalis can now hear his favourite Aussie rock music over the noise of car engines for the first time without blowing the speakers.
A mechanic by trade, Ange is profoundly deaf in his left hear; he was also one of the first people in Australia to use Cochlear’s next generation bone conduction hearing implants, the Baha Attract.
And Ange was one of three Australian Baha Attract recipients to be filmed as part of a short film being created for Cochlear’s Baha operatin in Sweden. Over two days in Melbourne, Tim used his XDCam and Go Pro cameras to capture the recipients going about their day to day lives – and how they can do this with ease, due to the Baha Attract.
“The film, which is a global initiative, is designed to show how people’s lives have been transformed by this amazing piece of technology,” Tim says. “And it’s designed to show everyday situations, such as shopping, playing golf, eating in busy (and noisy) cafes, walking down the street, driving, interacting with family members at home… We even filmed one recipient while he was ‘twitching’ – that is, bird watching.”
In a straightforward surgical procedure, a small titanium implant with a magnet is implanted just behind the ear, completely hidden under the skin. A small external sound processor is then magnetically attached to the implant. This sound processor provides a number of different hearing programs to help recipients hear clearly in different surroundings; like restaurants, the office or at home.
For Ange, the difference to his life has been significant. “It’s changed my life,” he says.
Adults and children with single sided deafness, conductive or mixed hearing losses can benefit a great deal from this magnetically attached hearing implant system.