Have you recently had surgery and been fitted for a cochlear implant? Or are you wondering how to use your new cochlear implant to maximize its capabilities? A cochlear implant programming appointment with us might just be what you need for overall wellness. Here's what you should know about the benefits of cochlear implant programming.
What is Cochlear Implant Programming?
Also called mapping, cochlear implant programming involves a series of appointments to help you adjust to your new cochlear implant. They are performed by trained providers called audiologists and will involve:
- Activating your cochlear implant - this first programming appointment occurs 2-4 weeks post-surgery and can last up to two hours in length
- Follow-up programming sessions - following the initial activation of your new cochlear implant, you can expect a series of follow-up appointments (weekly, every alternate month, and then annually) where you'll learn how to use your new cochlear implant and get adjusted to it in different environments
- Aural rehabilitation appointments - to help familiarize yourself with life with a cochlear implant. This can include sessions with a speech-language pathologist for speech therapy or mental health sessions if you experience anxiety and depression due to hearing loss
What Are the Benefits of Cochlear Implant Programming?
There are multiple benefits to undergoing cochlear implant programming. While cochlear implant programming is important in patients of all ages, it is especially beneficial to infants and small children who can benefit greatly as they develop their speech and language skills. There are several aspects to cochlear implant programming or mapping and depend on the individual needs of the patient. For some patients, more time may be spent on aural rehabilitation sessions to learn.
What to Expect During a Cochlear Implant Programming Session
If you've never had a cochlear implant before, you might be wondering what to expect during a cochlear implant programming or mapping session. After getting surgically fitted for your cochlear implant, you will visit a certified audiologist at Reuhl Audiology to begin the programming process. During the initial activation appointment, all patients will have their cochlear implants individually customized based on their hearing needs. This mapping happens approximately four weeks post-surgery and involves turning on each electrode present in the individual cochlear implant and adjusting its levels based on the response of the patient.
From there, your audiologist is recommended sessions on a weekly or monthly basis to get adjusted to life with a cochlear implant. These may include aural rehabilitation appointments with a speech-language pathologist to help improve your speech and language learning skills. Once you are used to using your cochlear implant, your follow-up appointments will occur annually.
For more information about cochlear implant programming/mapping, contact Reuhl Audiology at (630) 230-2373.