User Stories

Helmet Hacks: 3 Tips for Cochlear Implant Users

For cochlear implant users who enjoy doing sports, staying safe is very important. Having access to sound can help people stay safe, especially during outdoor sports such as cycling. Wearing the right helmet is crucial to ensure hearing performance is not compromised.

CI user Max wearing a helmet with his audio processors

In this article, Max from Austria tells us how his cochlear implants have allowed him to return to cycling just three years after implantation and what he recommends when it comes to wearing a helmet and audio processors at the same time.

My name is Max. I’m from Austria, and I have bilateral cochlear implants from MED-EL. They enable me to actively engage in my social environment and pursue my favorite hobby: cycling. Safety plays an important role for me when I’m cycling, so I always wear my helmet.

The Start of My Hearing Journey

Every member of my family—except one cousin—is deaf.  In my 30s, I noticed that my hearing was getting progressively worse. This became a problem, particularly during surgeries, because I could no longer hear important information. As a result, I could no longer work as an anesthesia technician in the hospital since hearing aids didn’t help either.

Eventually, my ENT recommended cochlear implants to me. I opted for MED-EL because I felt an Austrian company would be trustworthy and the on-site customer service seemed promising. And that ultimately proved to be the case.

My RONDO 3: Easy Handling, Powerful Sound

I decided to get two RONDO 3 audio processors. These are the features that impress me about my RONDO 3s:

After activation, I enjoyed every sound, especially the simple sounds like the clicking of my computer mouse, animals sneaking past in the bushes, and children laughing in the distance.

However, I was also aware that I needed to work on my new way of hearing. I wear my audio processors as often as possible and look forward to putting them on straight away every morning. I’m also not afraid to ask strangers for help whenever I hear a sound I can’t immediately identify. I also recommend trying out auditory rehabilitation apps. They helped me a lot, especially in the beginning.

The Advantages of My RONDO 3 When I Do Sports

There are several advantages of wearing my audio processors when I’m cycling, and I wouldn’t want to be without them:

  • I feel safer in traffic with my RONDO 3s since I can hear the cars, horns, traffic signals, and other people.
  • On my longer bike rides to different cities or countries, I can easily talk to friends and acquaintances while we’re biking.
  • I can enjoy my favorite cycling sound: the gears shifting.
CI user Max at MED-EL

My Tips for Wearing a Helmet With Cochlear Implants

As a cyclist, being safe in traffic is very important to me. To protect myself and my audio processors, I always wear a helmet. Here are my tips on how to adapt a helmet to your needs as a cochlear implant user:

The Right Audio Processor

As I’m very active in sports, it was important to me from the beginning to find audio processors that can also work with a helmet. I recommend the RONDO 3 audio processor in particular because it’s compact, lightweight, and easy to handle. RONDO 3 can easily fit under your helmet without slipping or impairing your hearing performance.

The Right Helmet

When it comes to choosing the right helmet, there are a few things to consider:

  • Keep in mind that your helmet should fit well. To ensure your safety and to prevent your audio processor from getting damaged in an accident, your helmet should not slip. Make sure to choose the correct helmet for the sport you are doing.
  • Your audio processor should have enough space under the helmet. Look for a helmet with generous cut-outs in the ear area or wherever your audio processors are worn.
  • As every person’s head is different in size and audio processors aren’t always at the exact same spot, I can’t recommend a specific helmet–test some out for yourself to figure out what works best for you.

Now I can enjoy cycling while hearing everything and being protected at the same time.

My Advice to Others

My recommendation for other cochlear implant users is not to be afraid to wear your audio processor(s) when doing sports. They give you peace of mind and let you enjoy every sound around you. Even if it takes some time to find the right helmet, it’s worth it!

Thank you, Max!

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© MED-EL Medical Electronics. All rights reserved. The content on this website is for general informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Contact your doctor or hearing specialist to learn what type of hearing solution suits your specific needs. Not all products, features, or indications are approved in all countries.

Conversation

2 Comments

Monica Pestana

June 20, 2024

I am struggling to find something to attach to my audio processor, or enhance it, to be able to hear my coach. I am a competitive horse rider, and my arena is 60x20 meters. I need to be able to hear the announcements when I am at a horse show.

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MED-EL

June 21, 2024

Hi Monica, thanks for reaching out. Your local MED-EL team will gladly assist you with information on our fixation options that might work for you. Please reach out to them via https://www.medel.com/en-za#contact Kind regards, Gordana

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Fischer Alfons

July 08, 2024

Ich trage links Soundbridge und rechts ein CI. Ich will mir einen Fahrradhelm zulegen. Bis jetzt habe ich keinen Händler gefunden, der mich da unterstützt. Angeblich darf man an einem Helm nichts verändern. Wer hat hier einen Rat? Danke

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MED-EL

July 09, 2024

Hallo Alfons, vielen Dank für dein Kommentar. Wir empfehlen, einen Helm zu suchen, der gut sitzt und großzügige Aussparungen im Ohrbereich hat, sodass der Audioprozessor darunter gut Platz hat. Dadurch muss am Helm nichts verändert werden und Sicherheit während des Sports ist gewährleistet. Hier findest du Max' Artikel übrigens auch auf Deutsch: https://blog.medel.com/de/gastartikel/fahrradhelm-cochlea-implantate/ Liebe Grüße, Gordana

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