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Friday, January 29

What Does the "Wrong" Ear Sound Like?

On rare occasions, Drew's Dad or I will accidentally put the "wrong" ear on Drew. We'll put his right on his left or vice versa. Each of Drew's processors is specifically programmed for an individual ear. For some CI users, their programs on each ear are nearly identical, so mixing them up won't create too many problems. Sure, hearing won't be maximized, but there isn't any tell tale sign that there is an issue.

That's not the case for Drew. His maps on his two ears are quite different. His right ear requires so much power that we actually had to go to a wider pulse width than his left ear. As a result, mixing up his right ear and putting it on his left causes him pain. It is "too loud", as he has told us in the past. And we always know when we've put the right ear on his left because he cries out in pain.

Now that Drew is a bit older, we were able to ask him after this most recent mix up what putting on the wrong ear actually sounded like. Here is Drew's response:

9 comments:

leah said...

Wow- how cool that he can verbalize what happens when the "ears" are on the wrong sides! That kind of loud static noise must be very scary (and uncomfortable), but at least he can discuss it and understand it!

Lily's Mom said...

That was so cute. Drew is very expressive. We should let the kids visit again soon. I've been meaning to ask you how you got a stronger magnet for putting the CI in a waterproof bag for swimming. Do we ask the audi?

JayBee* said...

oh he's so cute...

tammy said...

Very interesting. It's so great he can express exactly how he it feels AND how it sounds to him! We've done this before too, and I've always wondered how it felt to him. At first Aiden's maps were very similar, but with many recent adjustments I'm not so sure now. Good question for me to jot down and ask next time we're there.

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Alex said...

It's very interesting and cool article!

Anonymous said...

There's something called "implant id" that can be enabled by your audiologist so that mix-up won't happen. If the wrong processor is put on the wrong ear it simply won't work; however, there have been some issues with implant id causing intermittent sound. Drew's language appears such that he could tell you if the sound was intermittent. I would look into it :-)

Drew's Mom said...

"Anonymous",

I have asked our (and other) audiologists on serval occassions about this, and it simply isn't available with Drew's current processors and mapping programs. I have "looked into it". Thank you.

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