When People notice that I am wearing Cochlear Implants, they often ask me questions about my experience. If you or a loved one wear a cochlear (or a hearing aid), or are thinking about it, this article is for you. The auditory exercises can also be used to help those who are simply hard of hearing.
First Cochlear (Left Ear)
On February 3, 2023, my first Cochlear was activated. That day was , at first, was so disappointing, because I could hear noise, but nothing made any sense. The audiologist, seeing the sadness on my face began talking to me. Within a few minutes, I began to hear a few words.
Within a few minutes, I became very excited, because I could hear music (familiar songs) for the first time in years. It was so beautiful. I moved around the doctor’s office turning on water, tapping on metal, tapping my feet…. I could hear water running!!!!
Amazingly Beautiful: a Miracle
When we got home, I could hear my water fountain, my chimes, and the clanking of dishes and silverware. Because I had not heard them in so long, it was amazingly beautiful.
However, voices sounded like Darth Vader. Therefore, it took some work (see following) to understand the spoken words. However, within 3 months, I was hearing 90% of the spoken word.
Second Cochlear (Right Ear)
On September 21, 2023, I received my second cochlear. Music and everything sounded like a Bee trying to talk to me. It was very different from my first experience. I have been told that as long as one hears noise, it is a good thing, because we can work with that. As one can conclude, every ear is different. In fact, every person is different. One size does not fit all.
As with my first cochlear, I began the following exercises. The progress was slower, but I soon began hearing in that ear too.
Cochlear Exercises For The First Three Months
My Audiologist told me to listen to sound all day long wearing my CI, even if I had to talk to myself. She did not activate any of my accessories during this period.
When one has not heard for a long period, the connection from the ears to the brain weakens. In fact, recent studies show that hearing loss can cause early Alzheimer. In order to regain that connection, one has to do auditory exercises.
Following are some of the things, I found most helpful, and many are things one can do while getting work done.
- Speaking the phonic sounds, and their words aloud to oneself. Hearing my own voice seem to speed things up. To hear the phonic sounds (free), Click on the following link: https://ringaroundthephonics.com/phonics-sounds/
- Listen to familiar songs. One can even listen to YouTube videos with lyrics. Sing along with them. Again listening to my own voice seemed to speed the process on my first cochlear (left ear), and the second one in my right ear.
- Count Out Loud
- Watch TV with the captioning on until you no longer need it.
- Read aloud.
- The public library might give you a free talking book. They even send listening books free of charge. They did that with me when I explained what the audiologist said.
Three Months Later
After the first three months, she (the audiologist) had me do formal exercises 30 minutes per day. However, I continue to do the above as well. I have found doing the formal exercises first thing in the morning, and before going to bed helps a lot.
Here are some of my favorite formal exercises:
- Number one on the list is Hearoes, which is an app on your cell phone. (Google Play for Android phones & Apple store for Apple phones) There is a cost for this one. (It is spelled Hearoes, not heroes)
- Word Success app is free.
- The listening Room is free ( https://thelisteningroom.com/) .
After Mastering The Spoken Words
After one is hearing well, you can work on hearing with background noise. Following are some effective ways to do just that:
- Listen to someone while playing TV or music. Up, or lower the volume as needed.
- Go to restaurants with friends.
- “Lace Listening” costs about 100.00, and that is a onetime fee.
Best wishes on your Cochlear hearing journey. Please feel free to contact me, if you want more information, or have questions.