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How to Deal with Unpleasant Noises When Wearing Cochlear Implants

Sunday, August 20, 2017 2:04:22 PM Australia/Melbourne

How to Deal with Unpleasant Noises When Wearing Cochlear ImplantsThe Hearlink blog aims to be as inclusive as possible. We know that there are many different stages to hearing loss and we want to be supportive of each of them. This means communication early and often. It means providing as much awareness knowledge as we can with a focus on prevention of hearing loss. But it also means that we provide helpful information to those who are already impacted by hearing loss or already wear hearing aids.


Cochlear implants have been a revolutionary tool for this audience and they’re only improving with time. For those unfamiliar, here’s a textbook definition:


cochlear implant is an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants do the work of damaged parts of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain.


But getting used to your cochlear implant is a process and there will most likely be surprises along the way as you get used to them. They enhance the noises of the world around you—the good and the bad. Today’s post focuses on encountering these unpleasant noises and how to handle it.


Though unpleasantness may be subjective in many arenas, many noises are designed to be objectively unpleasant. These include sirens like that of an ambulance or a firetruck roaring down the street. The sirens may heart your head and your ears, but they’re designed to alert you that there is danger nearby.


This doesn’t explain the vast majority of noises that may sound unpleasant, especially if you are still acclimating to your cochlear implant. When you first put it in, your brain has a necessary adjusting period. This is because there are so many parts in your ears, which send signals directly to your brain. You will need to get used to hearing in a whole new way, and this can mean that you’re re-learning noises from ground zero.


You’re probably wondering, ‘is it just me?’ The answer is probably a resounding no. Here are noises that are frequently found to be unpleasant:


  • The pages turning of magazine or newspaper
  • Babies crying
  • Dogs barking
  • The dishwasher or washing machine running
  • Water running (shower, sink or toilet)
  • Voices (of any age or gender)


We’re guessing that none of these are noises that you’d like to think are unpleasant. Don’t fret—just give it time. Experts say that it’s really the first month where these are amplified, after that you’ll start to acclimate and become more comfortable. There are still adjustments that you can make to limit your discomfort. Hearlink recommends that you shift the volume on your audio processor or change the sensitivity of your microphone.


Bottom line—Hearlink is here to support. Whether you’re just interested in learning about cochlear implants, or you’ve worn one for many years, please reach out with any questions that you may have. Hearlink is excited to hear from you.

Posted in Industry News By

Hearlink Admin