Get the most from your Cochlear™

December 20, 2016

Fine-tuning your Hearing Tech Device to your Uniqueness

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Individuals who use Cochlear™ implants to maximize their ability to process sound know that it takes more than just flipping a switch to get the most out of the device. Choosing an implant, undergoing surgery and having the first “switch-on” are all major milestones. They signify steps in a beautiful new beginning however, the journey remains a lifelong path.

Here are some crucial aspects to form part of your strategy to make your implant sound ‘right’ to you.

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Regular Audiologist Sessions:

Consistent Audiologist Appointments are a sure way to help you get the most out of your cochlear implant. Did you know that even if you change your living location you can transfer to another cochlear implant team and audiologist.  It is however important that you or your child have access to a Super Specialized Speech-Language Therapist so you don’t miss any of your rehab sessions.

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Why MAPing is so Important:

MAPing is one of the ways to improve how well you understand language and enhance the quality of vocal tones. Don’t convince yourself that you will have to accommodate all undesired background clutter. It is possible to eliminate some of this noise by attending thorough MAPing sessions, Patience helps to make the best MAP possible:

Don’t be discouraged if you leave the audiologist’s office only to be disappointed with voice quality in a noisy restaurant.

Keep in mind that hearing things well in a sound booth, or audiologist office, is often not quite the same as hearing them in a ‘real world’ environment.

- Each time you try something new, give yourself a bit of time to adjust before determining if it is an improvement or not.

- Give your brain time to adapt to the more repetitive parts of speech.

When you encounter an obstacle, take notice and jot it down so you can discuss it at your next audiologist session. You can even bring along a sample of the sound (i.e. music file etc.) to provide more specifics for your audiologist.

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The Right Audiologist and Speech- & Language Therapist:

The right audiologist and therapist is one that is invested in helping you hear to the best of your abilities.  It is important that the speech therapist is qualified to work with recipients who have implants and has experience in doing so. The Speech Therapist is one of the most (if not the most) important person in a cochlear implant team. They are committed to helping you learn to listen through your implant.  This takes time and patience from all parties!  The audiologist working with cochlear implants in South Africa also needs additional certification in order to be part of a CI Team. They are highly proficient and skilled at the various implants, processors and software being used.

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Exercises are Important:

Completing listening exercises can help you adjust to MAP manipulations more quickly and can assist in getting the best performance possible from your sound Processor. Cochlear™ offers a wealth of rehabilitation resources here. There are also other options such as the Free Angel Sound software that is an “interactive auditory training and hearing assessment program”.

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An On-Going Process:

Be prepared and optimistic about the journey, a positive attitude should not be under-estimated. Don’t let a setback put you back to square one. Sometimes it’s imperative to know what doesn’t work for you, so that you can continue on and then discover what will work for you.

If along the way you can manage to cultivate a sense of humour to cope with some of the challenges it can help make a situation less stressful. Forgiving ignorance, ‘forgetting to get angry’, and being confident can enliven the journey and make bad days a bit more bearable.

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Connection Contributes Powerfully to a Positive Experience:

Choosing sound restoring technology makes you part of a global family of Cochlear™ Implant recipients. Take advantage of this and reach out on Cochlear™ support groups and forums.

Sharing your challenges with others can facilitate helpful and realistic feedback, advice, and encouragement. Sharing your successes can encourage others and help you better recognize and celebrate your triumphs. Sharing your story can be good for both you and your community.

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Southern ENT is Here to Support You:

At Southern ENT, we have learned that Support & Rehabilitation are very important parts in creating a foundation for success. This is why the experts we work with are trained and supported accordingly.

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

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