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American Foundation for the Blind® | Reader's Digest Partners for Sight

Using a Cochlear Implant

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Using a Cochlear Implant

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Transcript of Using a Cochlear Implant Video

NARRATOR: Mary, a woman with short gray hair.

MARY: I would like to explain too, that the cochlear implant is a fairly simple device. During surgery, there's a small magnetic component that is placed under the skin, just above the ear, about probably an inch. And then after about two weeks, you receive the outside device, it's like a behind-the-ear hearing aid.

NARRATOR: A photo of Mary with a small plastic box behind her ear.

MARY: And it just sits on your ear. I can take it off very easily, and it's got a little-bitty fine cord, it's probably about that long...

NARRATOR: She measures an inch with her fingers.

MARY: ...and you just let it go through your hair. It's got a magnet in it, so it just kind of clings to you.

NARRATOR: The cord is attached to the box. At the other end of the cord is quarter-sized plastic disk that rests against her head.

MARY: It's got four channels—you just press the button, and it increases in volume; press the button again, it increases the volume again. And then it also has another switch, you can press it to enhance the fine tuning, like you can hear the S's a little better in other words. And at night I take it off, take the little battery compartment out. I also have a charger, and two chargeable batteries. Every day, I alternate between one battery to the other. But like if I'm going on a trip, I will carry some batteries with me. In case I didn't bring the charger or something, I can use these regular disposable type batteries.

I think the only negative side of having a cochlear implant is I'm not supposed to have anymore MRIs. You can have a CT Scan, but not an MRI because there's a very strong magnet in the MRI, and you have a magnet in the cochlear implant, so you don't want to do that.

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