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Question for bi-modal and maybe SSD patients

Heather W

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I am a newly implanted bi-modal user (bilateral progressive sensorineural loss).  I have been wearing HAs for 10 years.  HA in right still.  CI in left, activated 7 months ago and use Sonnet2 and Rondo3.  I have a question that I think is best suited for bimodal users and maybe for SSD patients.

I was told to expect 12-18 months to get adjusted to the CI and to get the full benefit.  I often hear other CI patients claim that the electronic/robot like sound through the CI fades over time and things sound "normal."  While I am continuing to make gains in my CI adjustment and with speech recognition, the CI side still sounds very unnatural, electronic and like a computer generated voice.  Environmental sounds also have a computer-generated sound quality.  Some speech sounds have a fuzzy, raspy or vibrating like quality to them.

I work very hard to articulate what my CI sounds like and the struggles I am having with my audi during mapping sessions, but I have not had much improvement.  I improved drastically with my speech recognition scores in the booth from activation to 4 months, but in real world testing, I feel like I am still struggling to understand speech unless I am in a quiet, library like environment as well as on the phone or during computer based calls/meetings at work.  

Are my expectations off?  Do I just need to be patient and give it time and practice? Or is the fact that I still hear "normally" in my other ear(though assisted by a HA), the reason that my CI will always sound drastically different?  Any mapping advice? My next CI audi appointment is in March. 

Thanks, Heather

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Hi Heather,

It takes a mix of perseverance, patience, and practice. 

Do you know what listening settings you have? Microphone directionality programs for the Sonnet 2/Rondo 3 are defaulted to Natural directionality. There’s the option of trying Omnidirectional and for me that was a game changer. I got that about 7-8 months into my bimodal journey and once there I told my audiologist that’s what I was looking for the whole time I was in Natural. After finally getting Omni, things really took off for me and I (very) recently went bilateral, ditching the HAs once and for all.

Describing what I’m hearing to my audiologist is so hard most times. What’s worked for me is using pop culture references and other commonly knows sounds. Just what happens to work between me and my audiologist. 

And of course the other thing that helped was HearPeers. There’s a ton of information in the forum and everyone is so helpful and supportive. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi heather!

I am just like you 😃 

I was implanted 18 months ago. I did not have a working ha for my right side, and have about 50% hearing in that ear.

I put off getting a good hearing aid for 1 year. I rehabbed my ci to about 85% word rec, and had finally gotten rid of a "dink" sound, all voices sounded human, just not perfect.  I added a new oticon ha to right ear and it was so not human, lol, but it gives me a lot of balance! I prefer the ci sound so much better. 

After tuning the arrays in my last map, i still didnt hear music to my satisfaction, and felt like the AI settings were kinda restricting sounds too much.

So after my ha, i asked my ci audi to give me a map with omni mic, and all AI off, no blockers or sensors, etc.  I keep it low, and i love it!! I have music setting for ha also.  

So music has gotten better for me when i stream to both devices.

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