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The Benefits of Bilateral Implantation How Bilateral Amplification with Cochlear Implants is Gaining Momentum and How a Team Approach is Crucial By Wendy Potts and Jamy C. Archer Making the decision for bilateral implantation is not easy, but the cochlear implant team can provide the expertise, support, and counseling necessary to guide the recipient through the process. Bilateral implantation can provide multiple benefits including (but not limited to) increased ability to localize sound, a reportedly more natural sound quality, and better speech understanding in noise. The team is essential to realizing those gains. The audiologist balances the maps from both devices to provide the recipient with appropriate input from each side. Usually bilateral cochlear implants are not simultaneous but sequentially implanted. Therefore, the sound from each ear can vary greatly. Balancing the maps can pair the different inputs and make it sound more natural. The speech-language pathologist provides therapy to each implant individually as well as together. This approach decreases the recipient’s reliance on the first implant and provides more balanced speech understanding. It is important to remember that as it took time to assimilate to the initial implant it will also take time to adjust to the second. However, both devices together will eventually provide a more natural and clearer understanding of speech than a single device alone. With natural hearing, people can discriminate speech out of each ear independently, but it is better when the ears work together. This is our ultimate goal with bilateral implantation and the team approach. Nature meant for ears to work together and bilateral implantation is the closest artificial “nature” we can provide. Wendy B. Potts, Au.D., CCC-A and Jamy Claire Archer, M.S., CCC-SLP, are audiologists at the University of South Carolina Speech and Hearing Center. By Mike Penn The Help Desk hoever invented the concept of the help desk must have had a warped sense of humor. It is anything but help! As you know, many companies are outsourcing help desk calls offshore. Customers are faced with trying to understand agents’ conversations flavored with a strong foreign dialect. Recently, I was talking over the phone with an offshore help desk agent from India about a computer problem. With my hearing loss, the telephone itself is a challenging instrument for me to understand conversations. Agents speaking English are difficult enough to understand. When one adds a strong foreign accent to the conversation mix on the other end of the call…well, let’s just say both parties may not leave the call with a positive experience! After making the agent repeat what was said for the umpteenth time, our frustration level was already reaching the yellow ELEVATED level on the Homeland Security Advisory chart. It was when the agent began spelling out the words that the frustration level soared to the red SEVERE level. Agent spelling out the words CONFIGURE SYSTEM: “C” as in Sagar “O” as in Oregon “N” as in Nimbalkar “F” as in Friday “I” as in Idaho “G” as in Judge “U” as in Utah “R” as in Darka “E” as in Egypt We never made it past the first word. I simply said this conversation isn’t working and ended the call. Sigh. Where is an online chat service when you need one? Maybe the world of silence isn’t so bad after all! At least I can keep my sanity. November/December 2009 19 W The Lighter Side Comic Relief in a Silent World Please send your funny stories to Mike Penn at mkp2000@mindspring.com. Mike Penn is a long-time member of HLAA and a marketing/communications writer by profession. He currently works at HewlettPackard in Plano, TX.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hearing Loss Nov Dec 2009

Hearing Loss Nov Dec 2009

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http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ygs/G15179_Nxtbook2
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ygs/g14434_hlaa_mayjune2010
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ygs/G13492_hlaa_converted
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ygs/G12794HLAA_JanFeb10
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ygs/g11892hlaanovdec09
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ygs/g10882_sept_oct09
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