More on music and cochlear implants

Last June I wrote about my success hearing music with my implant. Since that time I have been trying to explain the difference between hearing ‘normal sounding’ musical sounds and hearing these sounds with a cochlear implant, to help others understand the enormity of this milestone.

I had a meeting with my implant rehab therapist earlier this week and she found this great illustration. (see link below) I want to share it with you – both those of you who are implant users and those who might know someone with an implant. I think this is an easy way to understand what we go through trying to hear music with a cochlear implant, especially when the implant’s sounds overpower the sounds from the non-implanted ear.

Some people with cochlear implants never reach the ‘normal’ stage; others get there fairly quickly. It took me almost two years. My brain had to reach back more than 60 years in its auditory memory for these very complex sounds.

I now hear the ‘normal’ sounding music with both my implant and my hearing-aided ear and I am greatly enjoying this newly rediscovered pleasure.

Here is the link. You need to scroll down a bit to find the illustration but I think it is worth it.
http://auditoryneuroscience.com/prosthetics/music

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7 responses to “More on music and cochlear implants

  1. I just read your post on more on music with a cochlear I’m 40 years old my right ear suddenly lost all its hearing 4 years ago although I’ve been diagnosed with progressive loss since age 12. I am about to have surgery in two weeks for a cochlear implant and the sound of music with a cochlear you posted scares me at this point. my left ear can still aid me enough on hearing melody but I can’t make out lyrics do I really want to undergo surgery for such distortion?

  2. such happy news 🙂 thanks for the education too 🙂

  3. I was implanted in August 2014 and was one of the fortunate few who heard speech right away. The sound was synthesized sounding at first but I recognized the words. The first time I went to a symphony concert I was blown away by the music and realized how much I had been missing with the hearing aids. No one knows why I reacted that way. The only thing I can note is that I have been going to concerts all my life and although I knew sounds were not as good as they once were I continued to enjoy music and to go to concerts.

  4. very interesting illustration, Rosemary. thanks so much for this latest entry.

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