Tips & Tricks For Adults

WaterWear for SONNET: Swimming with Sound

WaterWear for SONNET was released just a few weeks ago, and here we’re excited to share Immy’s story about swimming with her SONNET and WaterWear.

Our granddaughter Imogen was born in 2008. She didn’t respond during her hearing screening, and at the time this was put down to her being born by a Caesarean Section.

Then at 6 weeks old she was sent to a local audiology department, and  hearing loss was confirmed. We tried using hearing aids but she gave no responses. Then she was referred to the university hospital where the staff confirmed she was profoundly deaf.

Immy’s Cochlear Implant

In December, 2009, Immy (as we call her) had surgery for her bilateral cochlear implants. They were turned on in January, 2010. Immy at first had the OPUS 2 Audio Processor and was upgraded to SONNET in September of this year.

When Immy was upgraded to the SONNET we were told about WaterWear. We thought it was a great idea and that Immy could benefit from  it. So we decided to give it a try.

Swimming before WaterWear

Immy began swimming lessons in June, 2014. We explained to the instructor that Immy was profoundly deaf and could not wear her cochlear implants in the water, so she wouldn’t be able to hear anything.

Immy can lip read slightly, but the instructor also did some actions when explaining what to do. If Immy didn’t understand fully, I was able to be at the water side to help along the way. Immy also followed what the other children did.

Hearing while Swimming: the First Time

When Immy got her WaterWear, we were very apprehensive at first. I was nervous just in case they leaked, and Immy was scared of losing her implant. Immy just wears one of her implants when swimming and secures it by wearing her earmould.

The first time she wore them we explained to Immy that the sound of the water may sound strange. But, she said that it didn’t sound strange at all. We have asked Immy what it sounds like with WaterWear, and she said it’s just the same as if she wasn’t wearing it.

When she got out of the pool she was so excited that she could hear her swimming instructor. (It was like her having a first lesson again!) Immy is able to swim so much better because she can hear the instruction and not just follow the other children.

Immy likes the WaterWear coverbecause she can hear the instruction of the instructor and also hold a conversation with the other children in her swimming class. In fact, the first time she wore them, Immy led the way and was able to show the other children what to do after instruction.

Immy at this point has only used them at swimming lessons, but will be using them lots more in the future and on our holidays. Waterwear has benefited Immy immensly.

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