Cochlear implant pros and cons

31 03 2017

boom cochlear implant pros and cons

7 cochlear implant pros and cons that will make you think

Many people assume that when you get a cochlear implant, you are “cured” of deafness. This is complete nonsense. It just doesn’t work that way. A deaf person receiving a cochlear implant remains a deaf person; they don’t miraculously become a hearing person. There are many cochlear implant pros and cons to consider before committing to the operation.

Being deaf is not an illness that needs to be cured. It’s true that cochlear implants (CIs) can help some severe or profoundly deaf individuals improve their way of communicating in the hearing world. However, not everyone has positive experiences; some deaf people actively protest the use of CIs.

Many people in the deaf community resent cochlear implants for the effect it has on the hearing people in their lives. When a deaf person gets a CI, and it works to a certain degree, their friends and family assume they can stop putting in the effort to effectively communicating with them, because you can hear now right?

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4 year bilateral cochlear implant review

5 06 2016

I’ve just had my 4 year review of my cochlear implant hearing. My hearing is a straight -20db after turning down the volume a little, and it feels natural now to have such super hearing.

I work from home a lot these days; I can hear the neighbours on one side when they argue and the neighbour’s TV on the other side. Hearing well is not always a good thing! My new hearing dog Bailey has a very loud bark so all in all, it can get very noisy sometimes! This “overload” of sounds has been the hardest thing to get used to and I do like to take the processors off occasionally so I can get some peace!

I pick up the phone now and again when it’s an emergency or I’ve had to make a call and there isn’t a hearing person around to ask. Using the telephone takes a lot of confidence and interestingly the most difficult ones are where I had to phone people in Southern Ireland and struggled with the accents (I’m Northern Irish so didn’t expect this!), the easiest ones are where I listened to a digital voice and had to take down a pin number (and got it right! Wowser!).

audiogram 2016

Red: My hearing in 2016 with bilateral cochlear implants

Blue: My hearing in 2010, before receiving cochlear implants

 

 

hearing test 2016CUNY lipreading test – 24 sentences of varying length and complexity presented in auditory and visual condition – lipreading with sound

BKB sentence test – 32 short sentences of simple syntactic structure presented in auditory alone condition

 

I’ve been able to converse with a relative stranger when she was talking to me from the next room, because her voice was loud and clear enough for me to follow, and she wasn’t speaking too fast. I take great pleasure in understanding public announcements on the London underground, on trains, and in train stations.

The most surprising sound was water dripping from the ceiling to the kitchen floor when the builder forgot to secure the radiator flow upstairs – I was in the lounge! I was able to react immediately and run upstairs to alert the builder.

Another sound was (hearing this from the lounge again) water dripping from the kitchen sink into a bucket below, inside a cupboard. It sounded like a double popping sound. Investigating this, I watched – the first pop was the water drop hitting the surface of the water, the second pop was the water bubble bursting. Awesome!

hear speech

Being able to hear sounds well has made me much more relaxed about communication, and I now understand why hearing people don’t really comprehend the complexities of deafness. When you can hear well, it is so effortless and easy, it’s like breathing. Many hearing people don’t understand that hearing well is not just about volume. It’s about clarity, understanding, processing the sounds that you hear and knowing what a sound is, being able to translate heard sounds into speech and making sense of them.

The most frustrating thing is I still need communication support as many speak quickly and mumble, many environments are too noisy and have poor acoustics, and I am just not used to processing sounds into speech. I will always be deaf. But hey, that’s okay.

Some people speak too fast for me to listen to them and decipher what they’ve said, or they are simply too far away – lipreading is often a much easier tool for me to use. I had some people visit recently to give me quotes for roof repairs, and they all had (hilarious) cockney accents. Listening and lipreading, I had the pleasure of understanding every word they said and trying to keep a straight face at how they spoke. Recently I’ve travelled to the Midlands and the north of England, Paris, Gibraltar, Granada, Barcelona, Budapest, and Qatar – I have enjoyed experiencing and listening to all these accents and easily understood everyone I spoke to, without worrying about whether I would be able to or not. Communication is now enjoyable, and that has been a truly amazing gift.





HLAA Convention 2015

28 06 2015

We attended the HLAA convention in St Louis and we had such fun! It was great to see many old friends again and catch up on our amazing cyborg-ness.

The photo shows the Japanese delegation, I was so pleased to be able to practice my Japanese.  今日は!

Japanese delegation

One of them kept asking why Jacob had to raise money for his cochlear implants when CI recipients have insurance in the US. In Japan, the national health care system, like the UK, completely funds cochlear implants.

One of the guys in the photo is a jazz musician. He’s looking for any other jazz musician CI recipients to connect with – do leave a comment and contact link if you know of anyone or you’re a jazz musician yourself.

Every workshop at the event was captioned – which is fantastic. In Japan, they are not so fortunate with access for deaf people. Japan has turned to digital broadcasting, depending on the late night programming and region, but there are often no closed captions, and the DVDs and BluRays for Japanese movies and animation, as well as internet broadcasts are rarely closed captioned.

There are few places where Japanese films are screened with Japanese closed captions, and those screenings usually happen within a couple of days, and in many cases are only screened once. Film making in Japan often has a low budget and tight timeline, so low budget late-night broadcasting and UHF stations are rarely closed captioned. Since it costs television stations money to close caption broadcasts, they use a legal loophole. In order to escape having to add captions in any case, they will broadcast late at night or on UHF stations. And of course the country is pretending not to see this.

The process of closed captioning has been kept hidden from the country’s inhabitants, and in order for the majority of the society to be kept out of the know, they are not putting effort into developing people capable of providing captioning services. Broadcast and cable television stations are more likely to have closed captions. There is a small number of Japanese captioners working for the deaf.

The country, media, NPOs and even organizations who work with disabled people won’t consider requests for closed captioning and won’t do anything about it. The younger generation in Japan have an openly disablist attitude. However there are both disabled and non-disabled people working towards life for disabled people to become a little more enjoyable.

HLAA delegates and USA inhabitants, count yourselves very fortunate!





Advanced Bionics Naída CI Q70 Review

25 08 2013

naida processor

Here is the definitive, in-depth review of Advanced Bionic’s latest processor, the amazing Naída CI Q70!

My new processor, the Naída Cl Q70, is smaller, lighter and even more discreet than the Harmony processor. With the battery is installed, it is much lighter on the ear. To be honest, it is so small that I almost forget I am wearing it! …

Naída CI Q70 after the jump, in English, and in French!>





FDA approval – Now What?

6 08 2013

MED-EL recently rolled out the RONDO processor.  Cochlear has just received FDA approval for the Nucleus 6.  And AB is awaiting FDA approval for the Naída CI.  Why isn’t the new hardware available as soon as it has been approved?

Read on ….





AB launches Naida CI Q70 in Europe and Canada

23 05 2013

Naida

“Sonova Holding AG, the world’s leading provider of hearing solutions, announces today that its subsidiary Advanced Bionics (AB) is launching its new Naída CI Q70 (Naida CI) sound processor. The device is now commercially available in Europe, Canada and several other countries in the world.”

Naída CI Q70 User Guide

Advanced Bionics – A quantum leap forward

In the UK, your NHS audiology clinic will decide whether they can afford to stock the Naída CI Q70. Some hospitals are offering a free upgrade immediately, some are offering upgrades after 5 years (or longer), some are unable to offer this processor. Check with your audiologist for further information.

Naida





Cochlear announces Nucleus 6 system

23 05 2013

Nucleus 6

Cochlear Americas have launched the Nucleus® 6 System, their most advanced hearing solution to date, designed with a clear purpose – to help you simply enjoy smarter hearing.

The announcement doesn’t say when the processor will be available.  It is awaiting FDA approval in the US.  Key features of the processor include combined electro-acoustic stimulation, and wireless connectivity (when the accessories become available).

Cochlear: Nucleus 6 User Guide