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Adjusting to a cochlear implant—tips and tools

After receiving a cochlear implant, it’s important to practise listening often and consistently.
A man with a cochlear implant laughs as he uses his smartphone
  • Hearing

After receiving a cochlear implant, it’s important to practice listening often, and consistently.

Practicing your listening helps your brain adjust to the new ‘electrical’ sound through the implant and perceive differences between sounds including speech sounds. This is called auditory training.

Soon after cochlear implantation, a NextSense audiologist will guide you through some rehabilitation tasks, which build up from basic tasks. Much like needing to do physical rehabilitation following other types of surgery, you can expect better hearing outcomes by doing specific listening exercises regularly from the time your implant is switched-on.

After spending some time listening to sounds and speech around you—and once you can practice listening with a supportive friend or family member or even on your own—you could be ready to use a range of online apps. Many of these are free from the Apple app store or Google Play. There is also a range of websites available to help you listen to everyday sounds and speech. Your NextSense clinician can suggest a Apps and websites to try. Many give you the opportunity to select from a variety of speakers, language options, use of captions, transcripts and the ability to adjust the speed of the speaker’s speech.

Your NextSense clinician will also guide you in selecting suitable tasks that start at an easy level and gradually become more challenging to to build your success and reach an effective practice level.

The cochlear implant listening journey is different for everyone. Initial listening practice typically involves listening to everyday sounds called environmental sounds and for some adults, the more advanced levels of listening may include listening to podcasts.

For some further information and useful tips, visit the MED-EL website and the Cochlear website.

What will you be listening to over the holidays?

Do you have a favourite podcast? Will you binge on audiobooks, or will you replay a favourite summer soundtrack?

We’d like to hear from you! Email with your favourites and we’ll publish a list in the next edition of the Cochlear implant newsletter.

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