Cochlear implants are transformative for those living with severe to profound hearing loss. As medical technology advances, these devices continue to bring life-changing improvements to individuals who previously had limited options. However, to maximize the benefits of cochlear implants, specialized programming known as cochlear implant mapping, is essential. This article, brought to you by Victory Hearing and Balance, the premier audiology clinic in West Lake Hills, TX, will guide you through the process, benefits, and follow-up requirements of cochlear implant programming.
Cochlear Implants (CIs)
Cochlear implants are medical marvels designed to aid people with severe to profound hearing loss. Unlike regular hearing aids that amplify sounds, these innovative devices bypass the damaged sections of the ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. This enables the brain to process and interpret sounds, restoring a sense of hearing to the user.
CI Programming (Mapping)
Cochlear implant programming, also referred to as mapping, is the process of adjusting the settings of the cochlear implant to match the unique hearing profile of each individual. This process is instrumental in maximizing the potential of the cochlear implant, ensuring each user gets the most out of their device. The initial cochlear implant programming session usually occurs 2-4 weeks post-surgery, once the surgical site has healed. This session can last up to two hours and is performed by trained professionals, known as audiologists. During this session, the audiologist turns on each electrode present in the cochlear implant and adjusts its levels based on the patient's feedback. This individual customization of the cochlear implant is known as mapping. Thereafter, the patient will have follow-up programming sessions at intervals recommended by the audiologist. During these sessions, the user learns how to use the cochlear implant and adapts to it in different environments.
The Importance of Cochlear Implant Programming
Cochlear implant programming is a critical part of the journey to improved hearing. It is especially beneficial to infants and young children, as it significantly aids their speech and language development. The process ensures each user gets the best possible hearing experience, customised to their individual needs.
Programming and Follow-up at Victory Hearing and Balance
At Victory Hearing and Balance, led by Dr. Jill Davis, we offer comprehensive cochlear implant programming services. Our team of skilled audiologists works collaboratively with patients, adjusting the device's settings to match their specific hearing loss. Our programming process is patient-centered, requiring the individual's feedback on how they perceive different sounds. Using various tests and this valuable feedback, we fine-tune the settings to provide the best possible hearing experience.
While the initial programming is crucial, the journey to better hearing doesn't end there. Regular follow-up appointments are essential to ensure the cochlear implant is functioning optimally. During these sessions, the audiologist assesses the patient's speech perception in various environments and recommends any necessary adjustments. These check-ups are crucial to maintain the device's performance and to make any necessary adjustments to the programming.
Specialized Care for Unique Needs
At Victory Hearing and Balance, we understand that every patient's hearing journey is unique. For bimodal users – individuals who use a cochlear implant and a hearing aid in the non-implanted ear – we offer specialized programming services for both devices. Our team is skilled in helping bimodal users harmonize their devices, providing comprehensive care in the convenience of our clinic in West Lake Hills, TX.
A Tailored Approach
Every cochlear implant user is unique – and so is their mapping process. This individualized approach to programming ensures each user benefits from a custom-tailored hearing experience. The mapping process involves adjusting both the internal and external devices to suit each user's needs. We adjust the input to the electrodes on the cochlear implant's array, optimizing the sound quality for each individual. The journey of cochlear implant programming is a dynamic one, requiring ongoing adjustments as the user adapts to their device. As the user becomes more adept at using their cochlear implant, they may require additional mapping sessions to continue improving their hearing experience.
When Hearing Aids Are Not Enough
Dr. Davis follows an evidence-based protocol to assess if patients are achieving their maximum hearing potential. This protocol helps determine the available treatment options, which may include hearing aids or implantable solutions, to meet your specific hearing needs.
Cochlear Implant Programming in Austin
At Victory Hearing and Balance, we are dedicated to helping you unlock the full potential of your cochlear implant. Our team of experienced audiologists is committed to providing personalized care, understanding your unique needs, and empowering you with the tools and support to enhance your hearing experience. For more information about cochlear implant programming, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us at Victory Hearing and Balance. We are here to guide you on your journey to better hearing.
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