Discovering your Achilles’ Heel

March 9, 2016

Every SuperHEARo has their weakness


Superman has Kryptonite, Dr Xavier from X-Men is vulnerable to mental fatigue & even Spiderman has a weakness caused by overwhelming his senses. Sound familiar? Mental fatigue and overstimulation are very often listed as SuperHEARo weaknesses from our Cochlear™ recipients. The truth about all humans, irrespective of being superheroes, SuperHEARoes or just ordinary citizens is that we all fail to overcome our weaknesses sometimes – but this does not mean we’ve failed, it means we need to pick ourselves up again.

At Southern ENT we believe that we all look so favourable upon superheroes not because they possess such incredible powers, but rather because, when they do fall they are quick to pick themselves up and continue on the journey.


How do they do it, and what can we learn from them to make the journeys of our implant recipients easier?


All SuperHEARoes know their own weakness

Superman understands his body and realizes kryptonite must be close when his strength evaporates. He makes an effort to avoid close proximity to kryptonite.

How can a cochlear implant or Baha® recipient learn about his or her own weakness, to become familiar with their limits? We’ve dissected the question into two possible answers:

- Technological Tweaks – understanding your  technology means consistent mapping & updating. Especially in the early stages or when you upgrade your device. By constant & consistent evaluation you will begin to eliminate many initial weaknesses and turn them into hearing strengths. We at Southern ENT work with an incredible network of audiologists and clinics that specialise in fine-tuning your implants using Cochlear™ mapping and monitoring technology. Every person’s fitting and adjustment is unique to their hearing loss and personalized in a way to provide optimum results.

- Personal weakness – Some recipients simply do not wear their implants for long enough each day, others fail to turn up for appointments with their audiologists. For many however the personal weakness comes from not making the most of the technology available to them. With wireless now well established and SmartSound IQ we know that with a little dedication it is easy to recognise a challenging environment and turn that weakness into a strength.

You are not alone! Often we hear reports of individuals being a little embarrassed about both personal or technological insecurities, so we asked what are the most common areas of concern for Cochlear™ & Southern ENT recipients? Here is the list of the top three, we bet you fall into one of these categories.

- Not wearing your sound processor as often as possible – fatigue sets in, we know! But we recommend daily wearing minimums to ensure that you become familiar with the world of sound from your implants.

Your audiologist will be able to track your cochlear implant use and the environments you are in. Then they will be able to customise your hearing ability based on the more common scenarios in which you find yourself. Sounds like super powers to us!

- Irregular Routine – cleaning, battery charging & replacing  worn out parts is a very common problem for  implant recipients. The fact of the matter is that maintenance is a daily concern that can become a drag. If you follow a strict routine of cleaning, charging and maintenance then you will never be caught out without sound. Speak to your audiologist for a suggested routine to make your maintenance easy.

- Sensory overload – the most common reason for not wearing your  sound processor is fatigue. The sound through an implant takes some getting used to and you need to learn how to use it. This learning takes great effort, and more so if you are a new recipient or upgrading to a new device.   Practise makes perfect.  The longer you wear your sound processor, the quicker your brain will adapt to the sound and enable you to make sense of what you’re hearing.


SuperHEARoes are created! We at Southern ENT want you all to be aware that this journey will take effort but that you have a superb team of sidekicks waiting to assist you in overcoming your HEARo weaknesses. We all have weaknesses and you are an inspiration to the world about overcoming them.

For any information or advice, please call our offices on 011 667 6243

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