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News Round-Ups: Cochlear Implant Hybrid, Today Show, Nucleus 6 for N24 Recipients, and more…

March 27th, 2014 by | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Cochlear’s Nucleus 6 Sound Processor is now available for upgrade to Nucleus 24 recipients.  Cochlear’s website has all the info about upgrading to the Nucleus 6 Sound Processor, and it includes information about the insurance approval process.  If you are told by your audiologist that you can upgrade only every five years, keep in mind that the “5 year upgrade” policy is just a general, typical rule for many insurance companies and does not apply to all. There are insurance companies that will cover every single upgrade without any questions while there are some that will cover only when the sound processor becomes obsolete or broken.  We encourage everyone to review their policy because you never know if you could get the upgrade sooner than you may think!

Today Show featured a story earlier this month about Advanced Bionics’ defective cochlear implants. They stated that the company knew that their internal devices had issues for about 1 and a half year and continued to allow the defective internal devices to be implanted until they voluntarily recalled them in 2004 and 2006.  According to Advanced Bionics, their current internal cochlear implants now have a very good reliability rating.

The FDA finally approves the Nucleus Hybrid L24 Cochlear Implant System, a cochlear implant system for people who have hearing loss in the high-frequency.  Cochlear’s website has info about this new internal cochlear implant.

One of the very first children to receive a cochlear implant in 1980′s is going to be the first deaf medical school graduate in West Virginia.  Mark Leekoff’s story was featured on Cochlear Implant Online a few years ago.  Deaf children do truly have almost unlimited opportunities in their life!

Jessica, a bilateral cochlear implant recipient who attends a local public high school that just so happens to have a large deaf culture program, gave a presentation this month on cochlear implants and deaf children learning to hear and speak on Deaf Culture Day because she wanted students and teachers to be better educated about them.

Cochlear’s CI500 series internal cochlear implant will return to the market in the US and Europe very soon as the company has already requested approvals.  It is already back in the market in Singapore.

Check out this article about how deaf people with cochlear implants view themselves today.  The writer who is a cochlear implant recipient herself says that she views herself as “physically deaf but culturally hearing.”  Here is a good excerpt to read:

“I’ve experienced instances where people assumed I am fluent in sign language and require services available for Deaf people. For example, I volunteer for an organisation providing mentoring services to hard of hearing teenagers. During a workshop, we conducted a field trip to provide a demonstration of the support services offered at a local university. We were scurried into a class and at the front was a sign language interpreter hard at work interpreting the lecture. But while the four teenagers I was with all had a hearing loss, none of them knew sign language. To compound the confusion, the Professor then presented a short video, but it had no subtitles. The whole experience made me realise that there are misperceptions around the needs and identity of hard of hearing people.

The combination of technological advancements, early intervention and newborn screening practices has broken down the traditional categorisation of people with hearing loss as simply ‘deaf’. Today, a new generation of ‘physically deaf, culturally hearing’ individuals are able to thrive and contribute at every level to society, albeit with tailored support.”

Deaf children who cannot get cochlear implants due to no auditory nerves or cochlea can successfully get an alternative technology called the Auditory Brainstem Implant. Read this emotional story about a family who has a child who could not receive a cochlear implant but is now hearing thanks to an Auditory Brainstem Implant. The Auditory Brainstem Implant is currently in clinical trials for children at UNC-Chapel Hill, NYU, Mass Eye and Ear, and House Ear Institute.

Parents Magazine featured a great video about children with cochlear implants.

MED-EL will now be including the newest bluetooth neckloop, Quattro 40, with their sound processors when new recipients get their cochlear implant.  Quattro 40 will allow cochlear implant recipients to connect their sound processors wireless via telecoil and bluetooth to bluetooth devices such as smartphones and television.  Quattro 40 will work with any sound processors that have a built-in telecoil.

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