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Rehab for bilateral CI


Cara Mia

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My bilateral buddies,

Do you know any special rehab exercises to advance with bilateral hearing? Does it worth to train new and old ears separately. I know, I supposed to train my new ear alone to catch up with the old one. But it is already my better ear, so...

Is it possible to do something to make both ears balanced or  is it all about programming only? Perhaps, some training can help with better sound localization regarding a direction and distance). Any ideas are welcome. I suspect that there are a lot of useful things to do for bilateral folks that I have no idea about.

 

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Hello Cara,

 

Most AVT recommend training the new ear alone until it catches up and then training in the bilateral condition.  Finding that balanced bliss takes some work but once you find it, you will love it.

 

As for training for locating sounds, this task is very difficult until you feel balanced by volume in both CIs.  Acoustic hearing people use level differences (loudness differences) and timing differences to locate sound. CI users tend to rely on level differences only to locate sound.  Search for CI, interaural level differences and interaural timing difference and you will get lots of leads to research articles.  So if you are not yet balanced in volume between left and right CIs (which does not mean you have to be equally good as understanding speech between each side), it will be difficult to use the level differences cues to locate sounds.  

 

I found that it took awhile for my brain brain to fully integrate the signals from both sides.  It just takes time and practice.

 

"Increasing numbers of patients are receiving cochlear implants (CI) bilaterally with the goal of restoring the benefits of binaural hearing, including accurate sound localization and improved speech intelligibility in noise. Such benefits are indeed observed, but differ from those experienced by normal-hearing listeners in that they result primarily from acoustic head shadow effects: sound localization relies primarily on interaural level differences (ILDs) (van Hoesel, 2004), and improvements in speech reception in noise are largely consistent with attending to the ear with the best signal to noise ratio (Litovsky et al., 2006). Unlike normal-hearing listeners, bilateral CI users receive little benefit from interaural time difference (ITD) cues. In particular, they experience little “binaural squelch”, which requires neural processing of ITD, and is important for understanding speech when multiple competing sources are widely distributed in space, minimizing head shadow benefits (Zurek, 1992). "

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Thank you for advise, Mary Beth. Will look for the articles of that authors. Like you said, I was told to train my new ear alone until it catches up with my old one. But that has happened almost right after activation. So, I look for the better way to keep both my ears stimulated to keep my brain working in full force hoping that there is still even more to get with my both CIs. I know, I sound like a greedy person :rolleyes:

I think that my ears are quite balanced. I have stereo effect, can localize the direction of the sounds and even predict the moment at which sound objects reach some specific point. But it came so fast and easy so I am not sure that I can rest on laurels. Maybe I don't understand something and don't do what can be helpful. Just got used to work harder to get any result :) By the way, my last mapping is not working good for me. Now I cannot understand speech from the distance more that 10 feet. And  music is not for me after that. Playing with sensitivity doesn't help at all. Going to schedule an appointment with my audi to fix it. I forgot already how it is grim to struggle with speech understanding.

 

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Whoaaaauuuuhhh... Cara - great news indeed! :o

To catch the game so fast ....:D

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Thank you, Ivana. I did not expect to get that good result so fast. Just lucky that happened.

Now wandering if my new ear is going to outperform the old one and my hearing becomes unbalanced again. Don't want to loose my ability to localize the sounds and I like to hear the stereo effect B)

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I think as long as you keep the two sides equal in perceived volume, you will maintain your localization skills.  Hearing in stereo is quite addictive isn't it?  

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good that only loudness contribute to equal side perception. Hearing in stereo is addictive for sure. No way I want to loose it :)

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Cara

congratulations on going bilateral! Like you, I am bilateral sequential. I also was encouraged to only use the 2nd ear to give it a chance to catch up.

once I started wearing both processors on a regular basis, I just continued with the same rehab. I did practice more on sound localization. Other than that, business as usual. I just hear everything in stereo

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Thank you Adam. I spend some time each day using only one of my CI. Actually, it seems that my first implant need to catch up with my latest :) 

I like to localize sound. Now, when I am at our company warehouse, I know exactly where I can find a person I need or from which direction forklifts are coming.

Before it was a challenge for me to find there anybody I need.

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I remember those days Cara. Running around our living room trying to find my phone that is ringing but it was right next to me the whole time. 

What type of warehouse do you work in?

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I rather work with our warehouse manager than in warehouse itself.

It is kind of a fulfillment center. Now, it is also my CI training facility :)

 

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Sounds like a great "training facility" plenty of sounds to listen to

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