If you have a cochlear implant, do you remember your activation day? Do you remember what the world sounded like, and has it changed since that day?
Everybody will experience their activation in a different way. Some people who received a cochlear implant after having been able to hear naturally say that the first voices they heard sounded like cartoon characters, while others say that sounds are just as they remember. In the cases of children activated at a very young age, sometimes they have never heard sounds that don’t come from a cochlear implant.
Whether you have just had your cochlear implant activated or have had many years or decades of experience, the best way for you to improve your listening and hearing is through regular exercise. This is because your hearing is not fixed in place: with each day and each new sound, your brain learns and adapts to the unique way that your cochlea “hears” its implant.
After Your CI Activation
If you or someone you know has just had a cochlear implant activated, the number of new sounds might be overwhelming: people’s voices, telephones ringing, and the rustling of leaves and branches in the wind just to name a few. There are so many sounds that some of them might blend together. Don’t worry: (re)habilitation will help you learn to distinguish between all of these different sounds.
But what are these exercises? They’re tools that help you to hear and identify different sounds – and if you’re wondering where to find them, we’ve got you covered: Soundscape is MED-EL’s own suite of interactive games and activities that you can use from your very first day of hearing. There are activities for all different ages, and you can feel free to use whatever age level seems appropriate to you!
- For the youngest of children, Old MacDonald’s Farm is a way to get exposure to basic sounds by exploring the different noises that animals make.
- Let’s Go Shopping uses a trip to the supermarket to help children understand basic words like the names of fruits and vegetables.
- For more advanced listeners, Sentence Matrix is designed for teens and adults who want to work on distinguishing between words and syllables that sound alike.
These activities and more are all available at the Soundscape page on our website.
Training for Specific Situations
If you’d like to target your training, there are also downloadable documents that you can use when you’re away from the computer.
- The MyLittEARS Diary can help you or your child to chart progress along the hearing journey.
- Want to develop your telephone communication? Check out our Telephone Training Tips.
- Do you have a child and want to help them gain music appreciation? Music and Young Children is made specifically for you.
Check out the whole suite of downloads at the BRIDGE Downloads section.
Do you have any other rehabilitation exercises that you’ve found to be helpful? Let us know by leaving a comment!